Seaweed on Caribbean and US beaches – level 3

10-05-2023 07:00

Thick, brown swaths of sargassum seaweed sully Caribbean and US shorelines every season, and hoteliers, advisers, and travelers are learning to live with it.

On the cusp of a record summer beach season in the Caribbean, Mexico, and Florida, an outsized amount of sargassum seaweed is making its way toward vacationers’ favorite white sand coastlines. There’s no way to predict which destination will be hit hardest or how it might impact tourism. Some beaches are more organized than others in getting rid of and collecting the sargassum. A lot of hotels are using a sargassum barrier to prevent it from washing onto the shoreline. However, it’s possible that some of it washes over the barrier and goes onto the beach.

This forthcoming wave isn’t an 8,000-kilometer, monster-sized sargassum blob, the University of South Florida’s Optical Oceanography Lab clarified in March 2023, in light of recent news headlines. It’s simply a larger amount of clumps that emerge from the 8,000-kilometer-wide Great Atlantic Sargassum Belt in the Atlantic.

Difficult words: swathe (a broad strip or area of something), cusp (a point of transition between two different states), blob (a shapeless mass of something).

You can watch the video news lower on this page.

What strategies are people using to combat the effects of sargassum on beaches and tourism?


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