Haiti South Coast Invaded By Sargassum Or Seaweed Algae
In the past one year, Sargassum, a type of brown invasive alga that got its name from its huge floating masses in the Sargasso Sea, is choking off the Caribbean's beaches. Its massive tide is affecting some communities in Haiti, as well, especially at St Jean du South, St Louis du South, Côtes de fer, Les Cayes, Jacmel, Cayes Jacmel, and Marigot. Surrounding waters of these areas are exposed to the risks of invasion and pollution of this brown, dead seaweed. Thick piles of Sargassum release hydrogen sulfide gas, which has an odor similar to rotten eggs. If this hazardous gas is inhaled over a longer period, it may cause headache, difficulty in breathing, vomiting, irritation of the eyes, throat, ears, etc. Some countries in the Caribbean like the Dominican Republic in the north, Mexico's Caribbean resorts to the west and Barbados in the east have initiated emergency money to fund to clear the stinking mounds of Sargassum blocking the beaches (in some cases upto 10 ft high) and the moored boats. If no immediate action is taken, it would be a definite cause of coastal pollution, losses in fishing and tourist revenue.
Fortunately, the Haitian Ministry of Environment has understood the gravity of the situation and to manage the phenomenon, has decided to address this issue at the highest level. The department has launched a project named "Coastal Sanitation of Protection of the Great South Coast" with funding from the public treasury. The sanitation work started in the last December end include activities like, collecting existing seaweeds, retaining fresh comers on the high seas, build dams, breakwaters, releasing security information, etc.
Algae (small plant-like organisms that can range from the microscopic to large seaweeds) hold great promise as a resource which if developed correctly, could become a sustainable greener renewable energy source to power our future. The United States alone has the resources to create 25 billion gallons of algae fuel per year. However, some of the blooms (Harmful algal blooms or HABs) overwhelm marine habitats and wreak havoc on the ecosystem.
Reader Comments 1
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