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Seaside Beach Quality Report

There have been some news reports in the last few weeks about a mass of seaweed heading toward the Gulf of Mexico - possibly Florida or the Yúcatan Peninsula.  We have attached links to several articles to keep you updated on this issue.  We have also included a Live Cam of our beaches so you can see the current conditions at all times!  


“It comes into the Gulf of Mexico and, like the name suggests, it loops back and flows back out through the Florida Straits because of what we call the Gulf Stream,” Turpin said. “If any (sargassum) comes into the Gulf of Mexico some of it will likely flow back out of the Gulf and up into the Atlantic Ocean and continue its journey.”
“50/50 chance. So there’s no way of predicting. What if all the currents and all the wind blows it to the Yucatan Peninsula? Could be a non-issue for us. The circulation patterns are really important to knowing where this is gonna go,” said Barry Rosen, a professor at the Florida Gulf Coast University’s Water School.

What is it: Sargassum – is a large brown weed seaweed type of algae that floats in island like masses and does not attach to the seafloor.

Algae Tracking Websites:   Florida Department of Environmental Protection;

 and University of South Florida Satellite Based Sargassum Watch System and monthly bulletins:

Is Sargassum dangerous to humans: The gas emitted from the rotting algae – hydrogen sulfide – is toxic and can cause respiratory problems. Sargassum begins to rot after 48 hours on land, releasing irritants a hazard to anyone with respiratory issues like Asthma.  The resulting smell resembles manure or rotten eggs.

 Where is it? 3.16.23 – The blob is currently pushing west and will pass through the Caribbean and up into the Gulf of Mexico during the summer with the seaweed expected to become prevalent on beaches of Florida around July. (Although the true landing point and destination is undetermined dependent on ocean currents - Currently the blob should touch some Florida Keys by the end of March 2023.  (Dr. Brian Lapointe, Florida Atlantic University Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute)

What is being done about the blob? Currently being tracked, discussions of scientists from sinking the blob to monitoring and watching if, when, and where it may come assure based on ocean currents.

 What can I do? – Before traveling to coastal areas this spring or summer, research whether Sargassum is at your destination or if it might show up there.  Again refer to the top two  websites.