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Longboat Key Thursday, Jul. 15, 2010 5 years ago

Seaweed will not be removed

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by: Kurt Schultheis Managing Editor

The town of Longboat Key will not remove large clumps of seaweed that has washed ashore on various parts of the island this week.

Commissioner David Brenner, who has noticed large clumps of algae and seaweed washing ashore, inquired if the town has an established policy to remove it from the beach.

But Public Works Director Juan Florensa, in an e-mail sent to Town Manager Bruce St. Denis July 13, explained it’s the longstanding tradition of the town to leave the seaweed alone.

And for good reason.

Florensa noted the following reasons for leaving the seaweed alone:

• Seaweed is part of a healthy beach ecosystem.

• Seaweed provides food to seabirds and other sea life.

• Shorebirds use the seaweed for camouflage and nesting.

• Seaweed helps dune creation by providing seeds for dune plants and fertilizer for plants.

• The amount of wet seaweed is so large, it would require large and heavy equipment to remove it, which would have a negative effect on sea-turtle and shorebird nesting.

• The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has taken the position that no beach raking or seaweed removal will be allowed in the future.

Contact Kurt Schultheis at kschultheis@yourobserver.com.
 

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