The Coastal Packet: Glut of seaweed

Saturday, September 5

Glut of seaweed

Press Herald - At various times this summer, beaches have been covered in thick layers of seaweed in towns usually noted for sandy expanses that are perfect for sunbathing and sand castle building. Town halls have been inundated with phone calls, emails and Facebook posts from tourists demanding the seaweed be removed.

...“This has been an unusual summer,” said Stephen Dickson, a marine geologist with the Maine Geological Survey. “I don’t recall in 20 years this being quite as popular a topic. There’s certainly been a lot of discussion.”

.... Dickson said king tides – especially high tides, sometimes 2 or 3 feet higher than average – in the past week are remobilizing seaweed that is likely to wash ashore just in time for the holiday weekend.

The increase in seaweed stems from four factors: wind direction, spring tides, neap tides and surf. Spring tides – which have the largest range and occur around the full and new moons – create high water levels that can move seaweed from rocky shores, setting the wrack free to wash onto sandy beaches.

No comments: