Why is Sargassum appearing along our beaches?

Sargassum has flourished in recent years due to the combination of increased nutrient runoff from the Amazon River, upwelling off the western coast of Africa, and changing water temperatures. The greatest accumulations of Sargassum on our beaches often happen during high tide, which we experience twice a day. City of Boca Raton’s Recreation Services crews generally clean Sargassum early in the morning, prior to when most beachgoers have arrived at the beach. Unfortunately, when the second tide arrives in the afternoon, depending on the winds, it often brings another wave of Sargassum to the shoreline.

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1. What is Sargassum?
2. When is Sargassum season?
3. Why is Sargassum appearing along our beaches?
4. Is Sargassum harmful to beachgoers?
5. Does Sargassum impact water quality along the beaches?
6. How does Sargassum on the beach impact sea turtles?