Caribbean Algae Invasion: Beaches Face Unprecedented Sargassum Bloom Due To Climate Change And Pollution

TULUM, Mexico — As many try to take advantage of the last summer vacation, an unprecedented algae bloom is eating up some beaches.

“Totally impossible to swim,” said a swimmer. “This is the worst piece of garbage water I have ever seen.”

In place of the iconic aquamarine water, a stinky brown algae has invaded the beaches of the Caribbean, Mexico and even Florida, “Good Morning America” ​​reported.

“We saw a lot of seaweed, more than I’ve ever seen in the ocean before,” added another swimmer. “It stunk, it was embarrassing, it kind of affected my whole day.”

RELATED: Gen Z, Millennials Speak Out on Childlessness Decision

Since 2011, floating brown seaweed called sargassum has been getting progressively worse. This year it covers white sand beaches at record levels. There are over 24 million tons of seaweed.

When it dies on the shore, it can be toxic to people, animals and the economy. Scientists said climate change and changing weather patterns probably had something to do with it.

Caribbean water temperatures this year have remained above average all winter. It was the third hottest on record.

“Although we don’t have a clear idea, most of the evidence points to warmer sea surface temperatures, so climate change, global warming. And a lot of nutrients don’t leave the water,” said said one person.

RELATED: Greenland’s zombie ice will raise global sea levels by 10 inches, study finds

It’s not only unsightly and smelly, but it can actually impact sea turtles. Newborn babies have difficulty climbing on seaweed. It can shade coral, which is not good, and even upset the pH of the ocean, which can kill fish.

“One of the major problems is in Sainte-Croix, the water intake,” said Dr. Paul Jobsis, director of the Center for Marine and Environmental Studies at the University of the Virgin Islands. “We have a desalination plant there. The intake for that is clogged with sargassum. Otherwise it’s just a stinky mess on the beaches.”

Cleaning up these beaches could mean a lot of money.

For the US Virgin Islands, tourism is half of the GDP, so they need to get rid of the seaweed.

Unfortunately, many large resorts face east, and that’s where the sargassum accumulates.

Now they spend thousands of times a month trying to get it back, but they also have to figure out what to do with it next.

Comments are closed.