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#428252 - 01/18/12 03:24 PM A Surplus of Seaweed
Marty Offline

Ode To Some Very Hard Working Men

who are fighting an almost endless battle to keep the beaches sandy and clean. Since the barrier reef protects our shores, it means that sea grass tends to grow in the waters. And we are having our second day of pretty high winds, choppy seas and seaweed galore washing up on the beach. (Kite surfers and sailors rejoice!) On my walk to town this morning, I passed the guys who are out every morning at the hotels and resorts raking up the seaweed and carting it away. Probably before most people wake up.

Only to do it again the next morning. Each and every one of these guys says "Good Morning"...some ask how I am doing. Makes my walks to town that much better.

Click here to read the rest of the article and see more photos on San Pedro Scoop

#428253 - 01/18/12 03:27 PM Re: A Surplus of Seaweed [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

A Surplus of Seaweed

We've been having some very blustery East to Northeast winds lately, bringing massive quantities of sea grass, seaweed, and with it, plastic trash, up to the beach. The beach in front of our condo is wedged between two sea walls, so the seaweed collects and can't escape. Other owners here have told us that the weather conditions in January support this build-up more than in other months. In the very shallow waters along the coastline, the organic material then starts decomposing and smelling mighty rank -- or, as Paisley thinks, mighty sweet. There's the occasional dead fish or discarded fish head mixed into the muck, adding to the fragrance that makes it irresistible to a dog. She is drawn to it like a magnet, much to our displeasure.

The maintenance guys here have done their best in raking up what they can get to, and we have picked up several garbage bags of plastic trash ourselves, but it's hard to make a dent in such a large load; and more floats in every day. Finally, the Grand Caribe staff brought out the heavy artillery to assist in the never-ending clean-up -- the front-end loader.

Click here to read the rest of the article and see more photos on the BeBelize Blog

#428269 - 01/18/12 03:54 PM Re: A Surplus of Seaweed [Re: Marty]
catdance62 Offline
A lot of people down here (placencia peninsula) leave the seagrass because it helps "build" the beach and prevents erosion

#428273 - 01/18/12 04:35 PM Re: A Surplus of Seaweed [Re: catdance62]
Bear Offline
Originally Posted By: catdance62
A lot of people down here (placencia peninsula) leave the seagrass because it helps "build" the beach and prevents erosion

Cat's comments are onpoint and worthy of thought. The weed is and has always been a part of the islands beach ecology. You can't just remove it constantly without having some impact. From discussions I've had with a variety of folks on the Caye the weed removal, over time, can be a significant source of sand loss. I've even heard of folks burying the weed at the waters edge to maintain the nutrient supply at waters edge and promote beach nourishement. How effective this is I have no idea.

How attentively the work is done is very important. Now, having said all of that I appreciate the work the guys do, particularly those who strive to collect only the weed and minimize sand loss.

#428280 - 01/18/12 05:30 PM Re: A Surplus of Seaweed [Re: Bear]
Colby Offline
Large scale seaweed removal was taking place around the US as well. The beaches were being cleaned and scraped to remove the unwanted seaweed. All the while, oceanfront homeowners were complaining of beach erosion. It didnít take long to figure out why. The seaweed is very good at trapping sand and maintaining the beach fronts. It also traps sand that builds sand bars that secure even more sand and added mass. The seaweed will only take a few weeks to breakdown and be covered. Not to mention, it is an unending task to begin with. Aesthetically, in small areas removal may be ok, however, large scale removal should be avoided if possible.


#428282 - 01/18/12 05:34 PM Re: A Surplus of Seaweed [Re: Colby]
dawg Offline
Does it hurt to leave the weeds right at the edge of the shore but to remove the weeds that have washed up farther? Maybe that's a compromise that satisfies some. Dawg
The harder I work the luckier I get.

#428287 - 01/18/12 05:42 PM Re: A Surplus of Seaweed [Re: dawg]
chunkyruth Offline
Maintaining a beach truly is an art. There is a very fine line between keeping the beach "clean" and keeping the beach.

#428318 - 01/18/12 09:35 PM Re: A Surplus of Seaweed [Re: dawg]
Colby Offline
Originally Posted By: dawg
Does it hurt to leave the weeds right at the edge of the shore but to remove the weeds that have washed up farther? Maybe that's a compromise that satisfies some. Dawg

It is best to leave as much as possible when possible. The weeds further up will actually catch blowing sand and sand at higher tides. In addition, it will help maintain holding during heavy rains. Again, in some cases it is just not as acceptable to leave as in others. The more left the better when maintaining the beach.


#428330 - 01/19/12 01:23 AM Re: A Surplus of Seaweed [Re: Marty]
elbert Offline
The Dive Shops Daily Blog

#428336 - 01/19/12 02:37 AM Re: A Surplus of Seaweed [Re: elbert]
SimonB Offline
And does it ever smell after laying on the beach for a day or so! Smells like a fish packers by my place.

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