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Barbados struggling to clear seaweed surge

June 17, 2014

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (AP) — Clean-up crews in tourism-dependent Barbados are trying to clear gobs of brown seaweed littering numerous beaches, officials said Tuesday.

Ricardo Marshall, projects officer with the Caribbean island’s National Conservation Commission, said crews are being deployed daily to clear coastlines of pungent piles of sargassum seaweed.

The slimy brown weed has been washing ashore at beaches from Barbados’ north to south coasts. The government said Tuesday it is welcoming assistance from schools and community groups to clean up the beaches.

Sargassum is an algae that grows in the Sargasso Sea, a large body of warm water in the mid-Atlantic.

Officials in nearby Caribbean islands warn about the possibility of ample amounts of seaweed washing ashore. Large piles of sargassum have soiled coastlines in Galveston, Texas, after drifting into the Gulf of Mexico.

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