Have you been to the beach lately and noticed that the water is looking a little brown at some beaches in Pinellas County?
Beachgoers have reported the discolorations at Madeira Beach, Redington Beach and Treasure Island.
So what’s the problem? The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commision describes the water color issue as a result of sea sawdust
How have I never heard of this and what is it? Sounds like a byproduct of someone doing construction work near the ocean, right?
Sea sawdust’s proper name is Trichodesmium. The blooms are so big they can be seen from space! It’s unlike red tide, which can cause breathing problems for some people. So thankfully, it appears to be harmless to people and animals.
FWC describes Trichodesmium as follows: “Small blooms look like sawdust floating on the water surface, whereas larger blooms can look like oil slicks or foamy pollution. The amount of Trichodesmium on the surface may vary with time of day.”
So while it’s not pretty, it’s not going to hurt you. I prefer to gaze out at or swim in a beautiful blue ocean, but the brown water will eventually turn back.
For more on this story, click here.