COCOA BEACH, Fla. — Brevard County officials are preparing for the worst-case scenario as a massive blob of seaweed looms on the horizon.
What You Need To Know
- Officials along the Space Coast are preparing for the potential of a massive seaweed blob to wash ashore
- This latest surge is 20% larger than the previous record set in 2019
- Keep Brevard Beautiful doesn't usually clean up the seaweed, as they let nature take its course, however they may have no choice this year
The county and tourism leaders, along with Keep Brevard Beautiful, are overseeing potential plans to remove all the seaweed from the beaches.
While it is too early to tell if the seaweed will make its way to the Space Coast, being proactive is the right thing to do, officials said.
Keep Brevard Beautiful’s beach cleanup robot, “Bebot,” is already in operation, sifting the surface of the sand for debris like micro-plastics and cigarette butts left behind by beach-goers.
However, the 900 pound rover could soon be busy removing seaweed from the beaches.
According to experts, one of the largest masses of seaweed ever to wash up on the county’s beaches could be on its way.
The 5,000-mile-long bloom developed earlier this year, and depending on the currents and wind, it could head towards the Brevard beaches.
“We’re putting a plan in place, we are hoping for the best, but preparing,” said Bryan Bobbitt, Keep Brevard Beautiful’s executive director.
Keep Brevard Beautiful, Brevard County Natural Resources, and the Space Coast Office of Tourism are partnering to ensure they are ready in case the sargassum comes their way.
This latest surge is 20% larger than the previous record set in 2019.
Sargassum typically washes up on the beaches every year, starting in May. Once it’s here, it rots on the beach, creating a stinky mess.
Keep Brevard Beautiful doesn’t usually clean up the seaweed, as they let nature take its course.
However, with the amount that may pile up on the beach this year, they may have no choice.
“With that much, we need to make sure sea turtles can get through. We have nesting season beginning in a couple of weeks,” Bobbitt said.
Bobbitt added that “Bebot” has several attachments they can use to move large amounts of seaweed, if needed.