‘Huge’ bloom of seaweed looms in the Atlantic, likely headed to Florida beaches

A “huge” bloom of smelly brown seaweed is looming in the Atlantic, likely on its way to Florida beaches.

Researchers from the University of South Florida’s College of Marine Science say this year’s sargassum bloom will most likely surpass last year’s.


“Our analyses indicate that 2023 will see a huge sargassum bloom in the Central Atlantic, most likely surpassing the historic bloom observed in 2022,” Research Assistant Professor Brian Barnes said.

Barnes said this year’s bloom of the foul-smelling algae is already larger than the previous January record in 2018.

Read: 9 facts about sargassum, that smelly brown algae washing ashore in Florida

He said it’s difficult to predict where the algae will wash ashore, but in the last few years, Florida beaches – the Keys and the southeast peninsula – have seen the worst conditions starting in late spring and throughout the summer.

Last year heaps of the algae accumulated along Central Florida beaches.

Read: Orlando startup to turn seaweed into leather

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Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.