Thursday, August 11, 2011

June Grass

June grass has made an appearance again.  For the last couple of years it seems to have been washing ashore later in the summer.  [Click HERE to see photos of the thick mats we experienced late summer 2010 at Langdon Beach.] 

June grass is actually a species of algae called Cladaphora, which doesn't look so bad on the beach from a distance, and when there is only a small amount of it.  It looks a bit like someone threw out a bucket full of lime jello!  As it becomes thicker, however, and accumulates, it begins to look more like pea soup washing up, and smells about as bad.  (My apology to those who thoroughly enjoy split-pea soup) 

We have been lucky not to have as much of it as they are experiencing to the west of us, in places like Walton County.   The good part is that generally you can move a half mile or so down the beach and not see any evidence of it. 

We never know how long the June grass will be with us, sometimes a couple of weeks, sometimes longer.  It seems to work its way all along the Gulf Coast eventually.  It may be a nuisance, but it isn't harmful.  A north wind can come along and push it offshore, so you never know if or when you may see it in the water this time of year.  It could be gone tomorrow.  It's just one of those interesting events we deal with on the island.

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