Sargassum seaweed is affecting Miami, Florida's beaches

Stay up to date with the latest on Miami seaweed conditions and sargassum forecast updates reports in Florida, United States.

Sargassum seaweed is affecting Miami, Florida's beaches
Sargassum weeds are affecting Florida's beaches. Photo by Hristina ҆atalova / Unsplash

The arrival of sargassum on South Florida beaches has become a big problem for residents and tourists. Local authorities have come up with a plan to remove these foul-smelling seaweeds from beaches. Sargassum is a natural brown seaweed that floats in the Atlantic Ocean and washes up on Florida's beaches each year. They come from an extensive belt located in the tropical Atlantic from West Africa to the Gulf of Mexico.

Once it reaches the coast and stays there for days, it begins to decompose and a very unpleasant odor like rotten eggs pervades the area. This scares tourists and residents away from our beaches, as some find it unpleasant to bathe and enjoy the sea in these conditions. This situation has become a problem during the last few years, due to the increase in the amount of them. Researchers and scientists from the University of South Florida (USF) have observed and warned local authorities about this increase.

Although the causes are not fully known, researchers have linked an increase in temperature and nutrients in the sea to the increase of these algae on Florida's coasts. To keep our beaches clean, the city of Miami Beach began burying these weeds in the sand to prevent odor on the beaches.

This caused even bigger problems when they realized that the gases released by the decomposing sargassum were seriously affecting the ecosystem of the local beaches. As a result, Miami Beach in conjunction with Miami-Dade County has had to allocate funds to remove from the sand the large concentrations of these algae that wash up on Florida beaches.

Sargassum Seaweed Blooms in Florida. USF College of Marine Science
Sargassum Seaweed Blooms in Florida. USF College of Marine Science - University of South Florida

The Fort Lauderdale government has created another plan by collecting the seaweed and taking it to an open space where it is left to mature for 90 days and become rich soil, which is then used in planting projects in the city.

These are the locations in Miami Beach where sargassum is found

North Haulover Channel (600 feet);
South of Haulover Channel (800 feet);
Miami Beach between 26th and 32nd Streets (2300 feet);
South Beach (600 feet).