PHILIPSBURG:— The St. Maarten Nature Foundation has been reporting a steady influx of Sargassum seaweed over the past few weeks. The organization has been monitoring the progress of sargassum seaweed and has recorded that a steady influx of the weed has been happening on Eastern facing beaches since mid-April: “We have been continuing our monitoring efforts with our partners in the region and based on weather predictions and aerial surveys plus monitoring efforts along our costs we are seeing a medium influx of sargassum now for the past two weeks. We are now working on coordinating with stakeholders regarding he removal activities of the seaweed, which can cause serious risks to nesting sea turtles and hatchlings,” commented Nature Foundation Manager Tadzio Bervoets.
“Economically speaking there is a serious effect that seagrass can have on the beaches of the island. As soon as the grass is cleared it is being deposited back on the beach by the wind and currents. We will continue to work towards researching the effects of the grass and some possible solutions but at this point, Sint Maarten, like many islands in the Caribbean, are being heavily impacted,” continued Bervoets.
Sargassum is a genus of brown (class Phaeophyceae) seaweed which is distributed throughout the temperate and tropical oceans of the world. Most of the Sargassum Seaweed lies concentrated in the Sargassum 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.
Sargassum first plagued the Caribbean and St. Maarten in 2011 and 2012, with the Foundation having to warn swimmers to avoid swimming in Guana Bay in August and September due to a large amount of Sargassum Weed and many beach front residences and hotels having to continuously clean washed up Sargassum.
The Nature Foundation will continue to monitor the situation and will issue releases as information becomes available.
Source: St. Martin News Network
Steady influx of Sargassum Seaweed Being Recorded in Sint Maarten