FL - Piles of Seaweed or 'Wrack' Have Washed Up onto Space Coast Beaches
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Piles of seaweed or “wrack” have washed up onto Space Coast beaches. Sargassum is a brown seaweed that floats in the ocean and is washing up along the east coast of Florida in large amounts.
Sargassum provides an important habitat for migratory organisms that have adapted specifically to this floating algae including crab, shrimp, sea turtles, and commercially important fish species such as tuna and marlin.
The beach wrack is a natural occurrence that is made up mostly of the alga sargassum and contains many small plants and animals that provide the base of an important coastal food web.
The wrack is also a valuable resource that catches and traps windblown sand and helps prevent beach erosion. Many visitors travel to Brevard County each year just to beach comb and collect sea beans from the wrack line. In fact, the International Sea-Bean Symposium and Beachcombers’ Festival is an annual event that is held each October in Cocoa Beach.
“The beach wrack is a reason why the Space Coast is such a great place for families to take their kids,” said Peter Cranis, Executive Director of the Space Coast Office of Tourism.
It becomes a rich food source for birds, crabs and other wildlife. And it is one of the reasons we are the number one place in the U.S. for sea turtle nesting.