SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) — Hundreds of tons of stinky seaweed are piling up on beaches from Sarasota to Clearwater, at the same time that tens of thousands of people are set to visit the area for the Republican National Convention.
The Herald Tribune reports the seaweed is a variety of sargassum that usually stays far offshore. It began washing in after the tropical storm in June.
“It’s like any of the other things that happen with the waters,” Debbie Meihls, executive manager of the Bradenton Area Convention and Vistor’s Bureau, told the Tribune. “You can’t ever plan it and it’s just Mother Nature.”
So far, Sarasota County officials say crews have removed more than 200 tons from that area’s white sand beaches.
“That number’s going to grow at least to 300 tons,” George Tatge, manager of Sarasota County’s Parks and Recreation, told the Tribune.
Sea turtle nesting season is also hindering efforts to clear the seaweed from the beaches.
The Republican National Convention will be held in Tampa from Aug. 27-30, but tourism officials hope that some of the visitors will explore other areas of the region, like the beaches.
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