MIAMI (CBSMiami) – While South Florida beachgoers are having to deal with loads of sargassum seaweed in the water and on the beach, on state’s west coast there’s a big effort to get rid of red drift algae that is washing ashore.
The city of Naples has deployed extra dumpsters to rake and collect it.
“The breeze was coming off of the water and the smell from the seaweed was kind of gross,” said Bob Chencharik who has been coming to Naples Beach for ten years.
He said this much seaweed is unusual.
“The water is loaded with the seaweed as you walk out it’s all over your feet, like hair, I don’t know how to describe it but it’s really gross,” he said.
Naples officials say while some red drift algae is common, recent storms and wind are to blame for these bigger pile-ups. The red algae comes from the bottom of the Gulf and under certain conditions it can detach and wash ashore.
“Just looks feels gross and there’s bugs that are attached with it so you get more flies. It definitely smelled like dead fish,” said Ali Jones.
The city’s natural resource manager said the algae isn’t toxic or harmful. When it decomposes though it can smell and irritate people with respiratory issues.
The added it’s perfectly safe to swim, but it’s best to avoid touching it.