Plum Island Storms and Seaweed

April 12, 2010

Plum Island Storms and Seaweed 2

Photographer: Cheryl Follansbee
Summary Author: Cheryl Follansbee; Jim Foster
Plum Island, Massachusetts was blasted with back-to-back east coast storms, just before the above photo was taken on March 20, 2010. The first storm inflicted most of the destruction -- collapsing the sand dunes and damaging homes build atop them. After the second storm departed, an enormous amount of seaweed washed ashore. Clean-up crews were sent in by the local government to help flustered homeowners remove it. For days the beaches were inundated with tangled mats of the marine algae. This was likely gulfweed, a brown algae of the genus Sargassum. It’s often observed floating in huge clumps in the warm waters of the Gulf Stream and Sargasso Sea.