Chesterman Beach has a new look in some locations – for the time being, at least!

Beachgoers have been asking us about a colourful, oily-looking sheen appearing lately near streams.  This phenomenon is not related to petroleum products like gas or oil but is caused by the presence of harmless iron- or manganese-loving bacteria, often found in waterlogged soil.  This effect can also be created by decaying animal and plant matter.  To be able to tell the difference between these two types of sheens, poke it with a stick!  Deposits caused by petroleum will flow back together when distrubed, while natural sheens will stay separated.  This is bacteria and is non-toxic.  Now you know!