Well looks like the Olympics may serve to direct environmentalists attention to real pollution problems. If that happened in the US the media would have the the rest of the world throwing a hissie-fit at us.
Having kept an aquarium in the past there is a cycle in which waste is broken down with phosphate as the final by-product. Phosphate is not toxic to fish but is a superb fertilizer for algae which is what happened here on a much larger scale. Algae overgrows choking out other beneficial plants.
Looks like China could at least build some sewage treatment plants using water hyacinth then harvest those for fertilizer.
"Olympic nightmare: A red tide in the Yellow Sea -
Source International Herald Tribune
BEIJING: With less than six weeks before it plays host to the Olympic sailing regatta, the city of Qingdao has mobilized thousands of people and an armada of small boats to clean up an algae bloom that is choking large stretches of the coastline and threatening to impede the Olympic competition.
Local officials have initiated an all-out effort to clean up the algae by mid-July. Media reports estimate that as many as 20,000 people have either volunteered or been ordered to participate in the operation, while 1,000 boats are scooping algae out of the Yellow Sea. The official news agency, Xinhua, reported that algae currently covered a third of the coastal waters designated for the Olympic races.
Water quality has been a concern for the sailing events, given that many coastal Chinese cities dump untreated sewage into the sea. At the same time, rivers and tributaries emptying into coastal waters are often contaminated with high levels of nitrates from agricultural and industrial runoff. These nitrates contribute to the red tides of algae that often bloom along sections of China's coastline.
But officials in Qingdao said pollution and poor water quality did not have a "substantial link" to the current outbreak, according to Xinhua. Instead, scientists blamed the bloom on increased rainfall and warmer waters in the Yellow Sea. Algae are now blooming over more than 12,900 square kilometers, or 5,000 square miles, of the sea, according to Xinhua.
"We will make all our efforts to finish this job," said a propaganda official in Qingdao. "Now, forces from the entire province have become involved." He said ships and boats had been sent from two other coastal cities, Rizhao and Yantai, to help haul away the algae. ..............."