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March 2023    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 49, No. 3   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Golden Tides Threaten Mexico's and Florida's Reefs and Beaches

from the March, 2023 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

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A massive lump of sargassum seaweed is floating toward Florida, part of a floating mass estimated to weigh 8.7 million tons. It covers the surface and will eventually collect on beaches, die, and rot.

Sargassum is a gold-colored macroalgae found in temperate and tropical oceans around the globe. It can form floating islands that stretch for miles, providing shelter and food to birds, fish, sea turtles, and crustaceans. However, it's become increasingly nomadic as warming ocean temperatures and nutrient runoff have helped it blossom in unfamiliar waters. It can sap the nutrients and oxygen from the reefs it engulfs, and it gets worse when it makes landfall. It stinks....

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