FGCU professor and study says seaweed on beaches not disappearing

Seaweed clogging up Florida beaches is growing more abundant.

Professor James Douglass at FGCU’s The Water School said the nuisance seaweeds are here to stay.

“When the Gulf is warm and full of nutrients and runoff and waste from human activities on that land, it’s a good breeding ground for the seaweeds,” Douglass said.

And it’s not any better on the Atlantic coast of the state. A recent USF study finds brown seaweed known as sargassum will enjoy an extended stay on the sand.

“The algae that’s washing up on our beaches is red seaweed,” Douglass said. “It’s different from the dark brown sea weeds that are washing up on the east coast of Florida. But they can cause some of the same problems if there are excessive amounts washing up.”

Problems include respiratory issues if found in large quantities, which has already happened along some popular Southwest Florida beaches.

Raymond Roldan Jr. Came to Fort Myers after visiting Bunche Beach Thursday.

“There was just a lot more seaweed,” Roldan said.

And for Audry Skaja said she hopes the seaweed goes away sooner rather than later.

“It makes you think twice about visiting again,” Skaja.

Not everyone is as concerned about it, however.

“It doesn’t bother me,” said Giuseppe DeLuca as he places a little seaweed atop his head.

Regardless the seaweed on our beaches and across the state is hard to miss.

“It’s a little problematic,” John Plasch said. “It’s kind of a nuisance on your beach chair and gets caught to your legs.”

Reporter:Brea Hollingsworth
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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