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Every year, travelers look forward to hitting the beach for a summer getaway. Unfortunately, nature had other plans for certain destinations this year.
A massive seaweed invasion ruined summer beach plans, but many places did their best to find solutions to make the most of it.
Whether it’s in Punta Cana, Cancun or as far as Key West, Florida, unsightly sargassum stains have plagued vacations.
Whether it’s simply an eyesore to your TikTok videos or the smell comparable to rotten eggs as you go off, it’s an unpleasant experience.
The good news is that it’s starting to wear off in some of the top summer destinations. This is where it is declining:
The Sargassum invasion was so large that it was given an appropriate big name: the Great Sargassum Kelp Belt of the Atlantic.
Last month, the ‘Belt’ was reported to have decreased by as much as 75 percent in the Gulf of Mexico, according to experts from the Optical Oceanography Laboratory at the University of South Florida.
This is a sigh of relief for bathers in the sun stateespecially when just a couple of months ago, it was reported that there was 3 million tons from the nasty goo of the ocean!
Florida is no stranger to having sargassum in its beautiful waters, but this year it was a record influx that no one wanted.
The natural cycle of marine algae is decline from July to September, which turns out to be one of the best climates for beach days.
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According to Chuanmin Hu, a professor at the University of South Florida, there are reports of clean beaches across the state.
He was quoted as saying, « It’s very likely that the sargassum season for Florida is over this year. » Hu went on to describe sargassum as a fluctuating problem where travelers may see small amounts here and there, but not enough to deter travelers from enjoying their vacation.
The University of Florida has also been aware of the reports of sargassum in the Dominican Republic and is bringing good news to summer travelers.
Like Florida, the Dominican Republic is experiencing a sharp decline in sargassum. What was feared would discourage travelers from flocking to Punta Cana, in reality the results have been quite the opposite.
Travelers are arriving in record numbers, so you should be delighted to hear that the long-term forecast for Punta Cana calls for sargassum levels to drop significantly for the remainder of the summer season.
Although, occasionally, small patches of brown algae may appear. The invasion seems to be over, so there should be no more beach closures, like last month in Boca Chica, for example.
The Mexican Caribbean has skyrocketed in popularity this year! With the peak of the summer season approaching, Mexico vacationers will be excited to learn that sargassum levels continue to drop.
Even more important, they are expected to remain at low levels. Playa del Carmen is one of the best summer places to enjoy some fun in the sun.
It was originally reported that it would be a negative year for the tourism industry, but travelers are arriving in Playa del Carmen at a record rate.
The city’s investments have paid off to keep invasive seaweed at bay and not ruin tourist experiences.
Workers have literally been removing seaweed from its shores by truck, and barriers have also been installed.
Is sargassum toxic??
According to the Florida Department of HealthSargassum is a form of brown algae that has been a nuisance to bathers year after year.
The algae release a gas called hydrogen sulfide as it begins to rot and release unpleasant odors. While the algae itself is not toxic, it can contain some microscopic creatures, such as jellyfish larvae.
These can cause itchy skin rashes. It is recommended to simply stay away and not come into contact with it if possible. Leave the cleaning to the professionals.
traveler alert: Don’t forget travel insurance for your next trip!
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com