Sargassum is Gone But Not for Good

Beaches & Intracoastal  |  November 6, 2019

For those of us who spent the summer in Palm Beach, it was the season of Sargassum.
Millions of tons of the smelly, sometimes hazardous seaweed soiled our beaches for weeks. Then, the wind and waves came up, and it was gone.

The prolific weed’s explosive growth, say experts, was spawned by the confluence of the Mississippi and Amazon Rivers, creating a soup of nutrients from agricultural runoff in increasingly warmer water. These nutrients fed the normally manageable quantity of sargassum, causing it to multiply into unnatural, overwhelming loads of the seaweed we saw this summer.

Currents drove the Sargassum onto hundreds of miles of shoreline in the Bahamas, the Caribbean and the Southeast. For those committed to the safety and health of sea life and humans this summer’s explosive bloom raises concerns. (Return to Newsletter)

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