Sargassum Seaweed Impacts Virgin Islands South Beaches

Salt Pond Oct 3, 2015
Sargassum Seaweed Salt Pond 10/03/2015

Virgin Islands National Park and the Virgin Islands Coral Reef National Monument are being heavily impacted by Sargassum Seaweed. This naturally occurring event happens along the Gulf Stream and throughout the Caribbean.

The Sargassum is full of life and home to Sargassum shrimp, Planehead filefish, crabs, turtles and seahorses. It is full of nutrients and used for fertilizer and building beach dunes.

The Sargassum will eventually wash back out to sea or decompose.

For more information see the Presentation prepared by William Miller, SFCN.

Sargasso Sea Map
Map drawn by Duke University Marine Geospatial Ecology Lab. for Sargasso Sea Commission

Where does it come from?

Sargassum comes from the Sargasso Sea which is defined by ocean currents rather than land boundaries.

Gulf Stream

How does it get here?

The Sargassum Seaweed is drawn out of the Sargasso Sea by Coriolis Effects. It then travels on the Gulf Stream throughout the Atlantic Ocean and is deposited on beaches along the way.

Last updated: July 21, 2017

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