PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — Beachgoers are seeing red, white and brown this Fourth of July holiday.
“A lot of seaweed,” one beachgoer said.
Exclusive chopper 5 video captured large amounts of brown seaweed layering our coastline from Delray Beach to Hobe Sound.
The brown seaweed is known as sargassum. The most concentrated areas we saw were from Boynton to Lake Worth Beach where some of it has already been raked up. Scientists say the algae bloom has been making its way up our coast for a few months.
“It definitely makes you not as much want to go out right on to the water,” one woman said.
A couple from Minnesota said they weren’t expecting the beaches to be layered in brown gunk.
“We just didn’t know exactly what to think about it,” she said.
Others think it’s not a big deal.
“What is on the earth stays in the earth and is good for the earth,” another woman said.
Brian LaPointe, Scientist and Researcher at Florida Atlantic University says, in this case, it might be too much of a good thing.
“As it dries on the beach and dies and that blocks light that seagrasses and coral reefs require,” he said.
LaPointe says harmful organisms can be lurking in the blooms.
“You can get Portuguese Man-O-War that are associated with floating sargassum that will sting you very badly, but other organisms potentially like sea lice and even bacteria,” he said.
But many say the tan sand and cool water is worth weeding through the brown seaweed.
“We will be here tomorrow morning. Early,” another woman said.