NEPA Advises On Proper Method For Removing Excessive Seaweed From Beaches

December 4, 2014

The National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) is advising hoteliers and other individuals who remove seaweed that has washed up on the sea shore to take special care to minimize the amount of sand which may also be removed during this activity.

In instances where a significant amount of sand is removed, the Agency is imploring persons to return the sand to its beach of origin.

The call comes as NEPA has been receiving several reports from hotel operators, fishermen and residents of seaside communities of large amounts of seaweed being deposited by the sea along the north and south coasts.

The brown seaweed is actually a type of open ocean algae called Sargassum. In recent months massive amounts of Sargassum have also washed ashore beaches in the Eastern Caribbean, Puerto Rico and Florida.

NEPA is assuring the public that the seaweed does not pose a threat to human health or the environment and that the recent occurrences are the natural result of current climatic conditions. Biologists believe that a warming ocean surface as well as high nutrient input might be encouraging the plant’s rapid growth and spread.

The Agency is advising that the following steps be taken if individuals choose to remove the seaweed:

  1. Stockpile the seaweed
  2. Turn the material occasionally to encourage the drying of the material and the ultimate shaking off of the sand.
  3. Return the sand to the beach
  4. Dispose of the organic material.

For further information contact NEPA at 754-7540 or toll free 1-888-991-5005.

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