Seaweed pollution along Miami Beach, Florida — Courtesy: Shutterstock — Sergii Figurnyi
The majority of the stinky seaweed buildup in the Atlantic, which is being closely monitored by researchers, is expected to end up on Florida beaches this summer.
Jetty Park was covered in stinky, brown seaweed in July of last year. This brown seaweed is known as sargassum, and it releases a gas called hydrogen sulfide when it rots. The smell of hydrogen sulfide is quite unpleasant and closely resembles rotten eggs.
“It stinks as it starts to decompose. It releases hydrogen sulfide,” said Brian Barnes, research assistant professor at USF Optical Oceanography Lab.
Both the environment and beachgoers are negatively impacted by it.
The seaweed travels over the water all through the year. According to USA Today, the blob has grown to 8.7 million tons and is still expanding.
“We’re really looking at, probably the biggest event we’ve ever seen,” Barnes told FOX 35.
He claims that over the previous few months, the patch’s size has doubled. Barnes and his team have been researching potential contributing factors for the rise, including alterations to the environment and water flow patterns. Also, they are attempting to anticipate the destination more precisely.
“Looking at the trends, our best guess is it’s going to be a record year. The question is almost how much of a record it’s going to be.”
Tim Mahady, city of Boynton Beach Ocean Rescue chief, told USA Today: “Our beach could literally be clean at 8 a.m. and three to four hours later a giant mat of sargassum the size of a mall will come in like the blob, like a Stephen King movie.”
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