USF / NASA Alert: Second consecutive monthly doubling of Sargassum !


Outlook of 2023 Sargassum blooms in the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico*
February 1, 2023, by University of South Florida Optical Oceanography Lab

The maps below show Sargassum abundance, with warm colors representing higher values. The overall Sargassum quantity in the Atlantic Ocean doubled from December to January (8.7 million tons), again setting a new record (previous January record was 6.5 million tons in 2018). Sporadic Sargassum patches appeared in the Lesser Antilles near the month’s end, with larger aggregations passing south of Martinique. Within the Caribbean Sea (CS), most patches were south of Jamaica, moving westward over the course of the month. Essentially no Sargassum was observed in the Gulf of Mexico (GoM).

Looking ahead, this is the second consecutive monthly doubling of Sargassum, previously observed only in 2018. All indications are that this biomass will continue to accumulate and migrate westward over the next several months. We will continue to closely monitor Sargassum coverage, with more updates provided by the end of February 2023. More information and near real-time imagery can be found under the Sargassum Watch System (SaWS,

Processing note: For this and future bulletins, we have transitioned to a new Sargassum detection algorithm which leverages machine learning. Relative to the previous method, this new approach shows near-identical sensitivity in detecting Sargassum, while reducing false positives and false negatives near clouds and shorelines. While overall quantities slightly differ, relative trends noted in this (and previous) bulletins are the same for both systems.


28/01/2023 Sargassum seaweed Satellite views


28/01/2023 SOURCE USA



Panama – San Andres (Colombia) – Providencia y Santa Catalina (Colombia) – Costa Rica
Mexico – Texas – Louisiana – Gulf of Mexico
Florida – Louisiana – Keys

28/01/2023 SOURCE MEXICO

Satellite warning of floating sargassum presence in the Caribbean Sea

2023-01-28. Approximate area: 23,669 km². Estimated weight 3,254 t

Satellite warning of floating sargassum presence in the Gulf of Mexico

2023-01-28. Approximate area: 210km². Estimated weight 29 t

21/01/2023 Sargassum seaweed Satellite views


21/01/2023 SOURCE USA


Panama – San Andres (Colombia) – Providencia y Santa Catalina (Colombia) – Costa Rica:

Mexico – Texas – Louisiana – Gulf of Mexico:

Florida – Louisiana – Keys :


21/01/2023 SOURCE MEXICO

Satellite warning of floating sargassum presence in the Caribbean Sea

2023-01-21. Approximate area: 22,208 km². Estimated weight 3,054 t

Satellite warning of floating sargassum presence in the Gulf of Mexico

2023-01-21. Approximate area: 6,477 km². Estimated weight 891 t

Sources :



14/01/2023 Sargassum seaweed Satellite views


14/01/2023 SOURCE USA

sargassum satellite sargazo sargasses nasa FIU 2023


Panama – San Andres (Colombia) – Providencia y Santa Catalina (Colombia) – Costa Rica:

Mexico – Texas – Louisiana – Gulf of Mexico:

Florida – Louisiana – Keys :


15/01/2023 SOURCE MEXICO

Satellite warning of floating sargassum presence in the Caribbean Sea

2023-01-15. Approximate area: 13,313 km². Estimated weight 1,831 t

Satellite warning of floating sargassum presence in the Gulf of Mexico

2023-01-15. Approximate area: 6,813 km². Estimated weight 937 t

Sources :



06/01/2023 Sargassum seaweed Satellite views


06/01/2023 SOURCE USA

Panama – San Andres (Colombia) – Providencia y Santa Catalina (Colombia) – Costa Rica

Mexico – Texas – Louisiana – Gulf of Mexico

Florida – Louisiana – Keys


06/01/2023 SOURCE MEXICO

Satellite warning of floating sargassum presence in the Caribbean Sea

2023-01-06. Approximate area: 9,364 km². Estimated weight 1,288 t

Satellite warning of floating sargassum presence in the Gulf of Mexico

2023-01-06. Approximate area: 1,725 km². Estimated weight 237 t


Sources :



Punta Cana SEAWEED Problem (2022): Everything You Need To Know!!

Is there still a seaweed problem in Punta Cana in 2022? If you’re thinking about visiting Punta Cana in 2022, you’re bound to have this question. Punta Cana, along with other Caribbean countries, is currently facing a huge sargassum crisis.

Sargassum seaweed has been a big problem for Caribbean countries since 2011. However, the frequency and quantity of sargassum washing up on Caribbean beaches has considerably increased since 2015.

The year 2018 was particularly bad, as a large amount of sargassum seaweed landed on the shores of many Caribbean countries, ruining their pristine white sand beaches and spoiling the holidays of many tourists.

Punta Cana Seaweed problem 2022: Everything You Need to Know!!

Is Punta Cana facing a Sargassum Problem in 2022?

Punta Cana, along with other Caribbean countries, is currently facing a huge sargassum crisis. Sargassum is not a new thing for Punta Cana. Usually, every year, Punta Cana faces this problem in the summer season. However, this year, Punta Cana is experiencing the worst sargassum season since 2018.

Punta Cana first started to encounter the influx of sargassum on its beaches at the beginning of March 2022. Since then, month after month, the amount of sargassum washing up on the beaches of Punta Cana has been increasing continuously.

However, you should know that almost all the Caribbean counties are facing this problem. For more information about current sargassum conditions in Mexico, read the following posts:

How do Dominicans avoid Seaweed?
The majority of Punta Cana hotels, as well as the Dominican government, have initiated numerous large-scale measures to combat the seaweed problem.

Indeed, compared to many other Caribbean countries, numerous hotels in Punta Cana have made major investments in cutting-edge technology and are having greater success in tackling the seaweed problem.

This, however, is a temporary issue, and most days there will be no seaweed at all. Even when this occurs, beaches are often cleaned quickly. Also, not all of Punta Cana’s beaches have a seaweed problem.

Punta Cana Sargassum Forecasts 2022

Punta Cana is expected to encounter a massive influx of sargassum this year on its beaches. As it does every year, the concentration of sargassum washing up on beaches in Punta Cana is expected to increase from April to October.

Especially, Punta Cana is expected to receive the worst sargassum influx of this season in the months of July and August. And, as it does every year, it is predicted that sargassum season in Punta Cana will end at the end of September.

However, you must understand that the sargassum seaweed problem is a natural phenomenon. It originates in the sargasso sea but washed up on the shores of Caribbean countries due to ocean currents.

Sargassum level varies beach by beach, day by day, season by season, and place by place. Sargassum, in other words, is very difficult to track and very unpredictable.

However, if you want to know the current seaweed conditions you can check This website shows the beaches that are currently affected by sargassum.

So, the best way to ensure a sargassum-free vacation in Punta Cana is to either stay on one of Punta Cana’s seaweed-free beaches, such as Bayahibe or Macao beach or to do some research and stay in hotels that are successfully tackling this issue.

How bad is the Seaweed Problem in Punta Cana?
Sargassum seaweed has been a major issue for nearly all Caribbean countries since 2015. As a result, the Dominican Republic is not the only country dealing with this problem.

When it comes to the sargassum crisis, 2018 was the worst year on record for all Caribbean countries, including the Dominican Republic.

This is referred to as the 2018 Great Sargassum Disaster, which had a huge impact on the Caribbean countries’ tourism industries.

Since then, the Dominican Republic’s government and most of Punta Cana’s hotels have taken numerous big initiatives to address this issue, as tourism is the country’s main source of income.

For instance, almost all hotels in Punta Cana employ dedicated staff that works hard to keep beaches sargassum-free on a daily basis.

Additionally, the majority of Punta Cana is protected by seaweed barriers designed to prevent sargassum from reaching the beaches.

Punta Cana Seaweed Season 2022

The reproduction of Sargassum seaweed accelerates significantly in the summer months and decreases significantly in the winter months.

That’s why you will see that Punta Cana is most affected by the seaweed problem in the summer months whereas this problem becomes quite rare in the winter months.

Punta Cana sees the largest influx of sargassum in the summer months (June to October), whereas the sargassum problem is fairly rare in the winter months (November to May).

Most affected Beaches by Sargassum in Punta Cana
Cabeza de Toro and Cap Cana are the most affected areas in Punta Cana by seaweed. However, as I previously stated, this is a transitory problem that varies from day to day, season to season, and place to place.

But, keep in mind that these areas are now protected by seaweed barriers and that the hotels in these areas have dedicated staff that works diligently day and night to keep the beaches clean.

Best Sargassum-free Beaches in Punta Cana
It is true that several beaches in Punta Cana have seaweed problems. However, there are still numerous places in Punta Cana that are completely sargassum-free, allowing you to enjoy Punta Cana’s world-famous gorgeous beaches without concern of seaweed.

If you are looking for a sargassum-free beach vacation or to enjoy your vacation with complete peace of mind, Bayahibe town is undoubtedly one of the best places to visit near Punta Cana. Bayahibe, a beautiful resort town about an hour’s drive from Punta Cana, offers pristine beaches free of seaweed all year.

Also, Macao beach along with beaches Uvero Alto are other excellent options if you want sargassum-free beaches. You won’t have to worry about sargassum if you visit these places at any time of year.

On the Dominican Republic’s northern coast, sargassum is almost non-existent. As a result, popular beach destinations on the Dominican Republic’s northern coast, such as Puerto Plata, are also excellent options for a sargassum-free beach vacation.

Best Place to Stay in Punta Cana to enjoy Sargassum Free Vacation
Bayahibe resort town, as mentioned earlier is undoubtedly the best place to stay if you want to enjoy Dominican Republic’s world-famous pristine beaches without worrying about Seaweed. There is a nearly zero chance of seaweed in Bayahibe. However, apart from the seaweed, there are many good reasons to choose Bayahibe over Punta Cana.

  1. Punta can is located on the Atlantic ocean so the water is cooler and rougher. Bayahibe, on the other hand, is located on the Caribbean side, therefore the water is calmer, turquoise, and clear.
  2. Hotels in Bayahibe are usually 6 to 12 % cheaper than hotels in Punta Cana.
  3. Bayahibe’s beaches are more relaxed than Punta Cana’s, with fewer tourists and far fewer vendors trying to sell you souvenirs.
  4. Bayahibe, a historic fishing village, offers a more authentic and local experience than Punta Cana.
  5. Bayahibe offers a better snorkeling experience than Punta Cana due to the Caribbean’s clear, warm waters and high visibility.

In other words, with its seaweed-free beaches, relaxed setting, and world-class all-inclusive resorts, Bayahibe is an excellent alternative to Punta Cana. Here are our top picks for accommodations to stay in Bayahibe:

  • Be Live Collection Canoa, All-Inclusive ($$$) – This fabulous all-inclusive hotel is located on the Bayahibe beach. This property is an excellent choice for everyone, but we believe it is especially perfect for families and couples. This fabulous property has a private beach area, casino, full-service spa, two swimming pools, free parking, fitness center, children’s club, and nightclub. It also offers 24-hour room service and free WIFI throughout the property.
  • Dreams Dominicus La Romana Resort & Spa ($$$) – Dreams Dominicus La Romana is especially quite popular among couples. It is considered one of the best romantic hotels in Bayahibe. Located just walking distance away from beautiful Dominicus beach, this property features a private beach area, a vast Dreams Spa with peaceful treatment spaces and gardens, water sports facilities like snorkeling and diving, outdoor pools, and a nightclub. All rooms include free WIFI, air conditioning, and LED TVs.
  • Hilton La Romana, an All-Inclusive Family Resort ($$$) – Hilton La Romana All-Inclusive Resort & Water Park is one of the top resorts in Bayahibe town and is just a short distance from Bayahibe beach. This property, like Iberostar, is a fantastic choice for all types of visitors, including families and couples. It features two outdoor swimming pools, a fitness center, five restaurants, a bar, 24-hour room service, and a kids club. All the rooms come with air conditioning, 55-inch LED televisions, private bathrooms, free WIFI, and a separate seating area.

Is Sargassum Dangerous to Humans?
Sargassum seaweed is usually harmless to humans when it is on water. However, once it reaches the beach, it begins to rot. Sargassum decomposes into stinging thick layers on the surface of the water, depleting the oxygen in the water and destroying the marine life in the area.

This rotting seaweed’s huge hips detract from the beauty of pristine beaches, and its rotten egg odor makes water activities and swimming nearly impossible and extremely uncomfortable.

How to Check Current Seaweed conditions before planning a vacation to Punta Cana?
Sargassum is definitely a big concern for tourists planning a vacation to Punta Cana. That is why, prior to planning your vacation, it is important to do proper research on the sargassum conditions at the beach or hotel you intend to visit.

Now, let us discuss how you check current Sargassum conditions to ensure that your vacation is sargassum-free:

Live Camera
The most effective method of monitoring the current state of beaches in Punta Cana is via live cams.

It’s a well-known fact that the majority of hotels in Punta Cana have live cameras facing the beaches. These live cams allow you to easily track the current sargassum conditions on the beaches.

Check this Website is a website that keeps an eye on the current sargassum level on the beaches. You can visit this website and see which beaches are currently affected by sargassum seaweed.


Source: gohitchhiking – September 2022

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Florida USA : Invasion of the seaweed. South Florida’s beaches see record volume this summer

Beach goers walk among the sargassum along the beach at Collins Avenue and 27th Street in Miami Beach. The mats this week have been modest but MIami-Dade has seen record amounts this summer. PEDRO PORTAL

Every morning, before a storm of visitors rains down on Miami Beach, a hefty tractor rakes the shoreline, scooping up a brown stinky seaweed known as sargassum.

Normally, the process runs like clockwork for the Miami-Dade County Parks and Recreation Department. But in recent months, it’s become a more laborious effort as record amounts taint the county’s coastline.

With months left in the typical seaweed season, the county’s collected tonnage has already surpassed the last two years.

“This is probably the most we’ve seen since 2018,” said Tom Morgan, chief of operations for the county’s parks department. “We get patrons on the beach that stop us and flag us down and ask us what’s happening.”

Sargassum is not inherently hazardous. On the ocean’s surface, in fact, the drifting algae is a vital part of a larger ecosystem, providing essential habitat for invertebrates, fish, crabs and shrimp.

But, in excess volume, it can be a problem for human and marine life alike. Massive mats of the scratchy stuff can make swimming and strolling unpleasant for beach goers.

A tractor rakes up seaweed on Miami Beach on Thursday. The mats this week have been modest but MIami-Dade has seen record amounts this summer. Pedro Portal

And when too much sargassum is strung along the shore, it can create a barrier for freshly hatched sea turtles that scuttle from sand to sea. When too much floats atop the water for too long, it can block light from trickling below the ocean’s surface and suck up oxygen necessary for mangroves and marine life.

Then there is the smell. Fermenting in South Florida’s summer sun, the hydrogen sulfide produced by decomposing seaweed creates a stench likened to rotten eggs, an aroma that tends to turn off tourists.

It can even be a health problem. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health reports it can cause “irritation to the eyes and respiratory system.” In especially high concentrations, the gas can cause apnea, coma, convulsions, dizziness, headache, weakness, irritability, insomnia and an upset stomach. Studies also show a correlation between the seaweed’s growth and a bacteria that frequently closes beaches to swimmers.

The sargassum collection crew in the county’s parks and recreation department cleans all the beaches from Miami Beach to the Broward County line “three times a day, seven days a week.” Their beach “raker” logs documenting seaweed volume only date back to 2018, when the county first experienced a then-unprecedented outbreak of sargassum and began keeping tabs on the tonnage.

“Prior to 2018, we didn’t see large amounts of sargassum washing up on our shoreline,” Morgan said. “We’re learning to live it. And I think we’re managing it better than we have.”

The “raker” log data shows that the total amount of sargassum collected in the county from October 2019 to September 2020 totaled about 15,000 tons. That number grew to more than 21,000 tons the following year.

A thick mat of sargassum seaweed washed ashore Thursday on Miami Beach, part of a record volume seen so far this summer on South Florida beaches. Pedro Portal

This year, with August and September still unaccounted for, the logs show almost 25,000 tons of sargassum have been collected from beaches across the county.

Miami-Dade County is not the sole recipient of a sargassum outbreak. Broward and Palm Beach counties are also experiencing a record year for sargassum. So is the Caribbean.

Although there is not yet a definitive explanation for the surge in seaweed, scientists hypothesize that contributing factors include temperature rises associated with climate change and nutrient pollution in the Atlantic Ocean caused by deforestation and fertilizer runoff. Those scientists include Helena Solo-Gabriele, a professor of environmental and materials engineering at the University of Miami, and her doctoral student Afeefa Abdool-Ghany.

Solo-Gabriele and Abdool-Ghany were co-authors of the first scientific study to analyze the relationship between sargassum and enterococci, a bacteria that is an indicator of human or animal waste in water. Miami-Dade County beaches were the focus of their study.

“Bacteria levels of beaches in Miami-Dade County have been increasing steadily over the past decade,” Solo-Gabriele said. “What we found was an increase in bacteria at the beach was related to increases in the sargassum. One feeds the other.”

The massive daily mounds scraped from beaches have also created another problem. What to do with it.

In areas that see the most sargassum accumulation, like around beach jetties, Morgan said the county has a contracted vendor who composts it.

“And then once it’s composted,” he said, “it can be used in certain applications as commercial fertilizer.”

Abdool-Ghany is also studying how well the seaweed fares as fertilizer. She’s already tested out various blends, including a solely sargassum blend and one that incorporates yard waste like grass clippings. Both have been successful; she’s already grown radish plants with the composted material.

“We were worried the salt from the sargassum would not allow the plants to grow. Little did we know it was not an issue whatsoever,” Solo-Gabriele said. “So you can take sargassum and put it in a composter, leave it there and after three months, it’s a sandy organic material. You can take that material and it will grow some plants.”


A crew cleans the sargassum along the beach at Collins Avenue and 27th Street in Miami Beach on Thursday, Aug. 25, 2022. Pedro Portal

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is still in the process of creating safety guidelines for composting sargassum since the seaweed naturally contains arsenic, which is highly toxic to humans. But researchers like Abdool-Ghany are already at the forefront of finding the best ways to use the organic material — especially since sargassum is expected to remain in surplus.

“I think what this tells us is that we need to pay particular attention to climate change and start really thinking about the potential impact of temperature rise and sea level rise,” Solo-Gabriele said. “I think we’re just starting to see the beginning of it.”

A crew cleans the sargassum along the beach at Collins Avenue and 27th Street in Miami Beach on Thursday, Aug. 25, 2022. Pedro Portal

Source: Miami Herald 26/08/2022