United States

Sargassum Migrates and Crowds Florida Beach

One of the oxygen perpetrators from the ocean migrated to the Florida beach and hosted a party that made many beachgoers’ faces frown. A seaweed, Sargassum, has more than 300 species of brown algae habitats in the Atlantic ocean. They arrived like a flock of fish one day.

According to CNN, “It comes in such [large] quantities that it basically sucks the oxygen out of the water and creates what we refer to as dead zones,” Lapointe said. “These are normally nursery habitats for fisheries … and once they’re devoid of oxygen, we have lost that habitat.” It also is dangerous to human health when the rotting algae release gas, as hydrogen sulfate is toxic and can cause respiratory problems. The seaweed itself also contains arsenic in its flesh, and it can be dangerous if ingested or used for fertilizer, he added.

The cleaning process will be very difficult and costly. Dr. Gustavo Jorge Goni, the director of the physical Oceanography Division at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory said that the currents at sea can alter sargassum’s annual growth and accumulation. He added that Phosphorus and nitrogen in the sea can also serve as food for the algae. Those elements came in high amounts from the rivers to the ocean and that indicated how much agriculture and fossil fuel production ruined our ecosystem, according to EPA ( Environmental Protection Agency).

Dr. Goni said that researchers are seeking ways of solutions like sinking them to the bottom of the ocean or making soap through commercial production.

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