(GALVESTON, TX) — If you’re planning to spend Fourth of July weekend on the beach in Galveston, you’ll be sharing the beach with seaweed. Lots of it.
Mountains of seaweed, or sargassum, can be seen all along the seawall as crews constantly rake it away from the water’s edge to give tourists a place to play in the sand and surf.
But the seaweed that is washing up on the shore is not only annoying to beachgoers; it is also putting some endangered turtles at risk.
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Lyndsey Howell, a research fishery biologist with NOAA in Galveston, said young turtles feed on that seaweed and live in it on the surface of the water.
If you find a turtle on the beach, call the NOAA turtle hotline immediately at 1-866-TURTLE5 (1-866-887-8535). So far, 60 turtles have been found stranded in the seaweed since May.
Leah Cast, spokesperson for the Galveston parks board, said they are working hard to keep the beaches clean. That includes East Beach, Stewart Beach, the pocket parks and some of the beaches along the seawall.
She went on to say East Beach and Stewart Beach get the most attention and maintenance.