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Smelly seaweed invades state’s shoreline

Smelly seaweed covered the rocks and shoreline of Stage Point Cove in Plymouth on Saturday. Smelly seaweed covered the rocks and shoreline of Stage Point Cove in Plymouth on Saturday. (john tlumacki/Globe staff)
By Martine Powers and Christine Legere
Globe Staff And Globe Correspondent / June 28, 2012
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An aggressive red seaweed that hails from Japan has invaded the Massachusetts shoreline, threatening native wildlife, jeopardizing tourism, and causing a stink for beachfront residents.

Scientists first identified the red seaweed, known as Heterosiphonia japonica, off the coast of Rhode Island in 2009, but it was not until this spring that its growth surged, blanketing beaches from Long Island Sound to the southern Gulf of Maine with algae made of thickly packed red fibers resembling matted hair.

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