PHILIPSBURG:—- The St. Maarten Nature Foundation is warning for the potential of large amounts of Sargasso Seaweed washing ashore on local beaches resulting in a situation similar to that of 2011/ 2012 and 2014/2015 where beaches were closed due to a large influx of the seaweed. Based on satellite data and communication with conservation management organizations in the Caribbean the Nature Foundation has sent a warning that there is a potential of Sargasso seaweed to once again affect the area. “We have been receiving updates from satellites and pilots in the area as well as from conservation organizations with whom we work closely that there is again a potential for Sargasso seaweed causing problems for the region. Especially last year St. Maarten and other islands in the region had to deal with a large influx of the seaweed with beaches being closed and on some islands harbors being very negatively affected. We are keeping a close eye on ocean currents and prevailing winds and we hope that the majority of the Sargasso will stay away from the local area but we wanted to give a head’s up in any case,” commented Nature Foundation Manager Tadzio Bervoets.
Sargasso is a genus of brown (class Phaeophyceae) seaweed which is distributed throughout the temperate and tropical oceans of the world. Most of the Sargasso Seaweed lies concentrated in the Sargasso Sea, a region in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean surrounded by ocean currents. It is bounded on the west by the Gulf Stream; on the north, by the North Atlantic Current; on the east, by the Canary Current; and on the south, by the North Atlantic Equatorial Current.
Sargasso Weed plagued the Caribbean and St. Maarten over recent years with the Foundation having to warn swimmers to avoid swimming in Guana Bay and other beaches due to the large amount of Sargasso Weed and many beach front residences and hotels having to continuously clean washed up Sargasso. The Foundation is in close contact with experts in the region in developing an early warning system to warn residents and governments in the region of the possible influx of Sargasso seaweed.
The Nature Foundation will continuously monitor the status of the Sargasso Weed and notify the authorities if there is an imminent risk of a large influx of Sargasso in the St. Maarten Area.
Source: St. Martin News Network Nature Foundation Warns for Potential of Sargasso Seaweed Invasion.