There is something unusual in the air this summer along the Gulf Coast — and it isn’t done yet.
If you’ve not made your way to the beaches as of yet this summer, you might be surprised to see Mother Nature is sharing with us a lesson on how oceans regenerate dunes.
Yes, the largest shipment in decades of sargassum (better known as seaweed) is putting on what can only be described as a one-man (or one-woman) show along our shorelines.
Earlier this week, The Daily News took a look at this event — one locals are referring to as the largest in memory. And according to research, they are right.
Scientist and students right here in Galveston County (Texas A&M University at Galveston) are highly interested in the how and why of the events leading to this year’s harvest.
The students are the lifeblood of the Sargassum Early Advisory System, a NASA-funded project the university developed to study and report the movements of mats of seaweed from the Atlantic Ocean through the Caribbean Sea, into the Gulf of Mexico, and, ultimately, onto the Texas Coast.
According to doctoral candidate Robert Webster, it would be helpful to put this into proper perspective.
Seaweed isn’t a new issue, Webster said. It’s not an invasive species that just appeared. The cycle has repeated itself annually for more than 4 million years, he said.
“We’re intruding on their beaches and not vice versa,” Webster said.
Furthermore, satellite images show there is more to come. Much more.
But take heart, Galveston County. Recently, a 4-mile-long, 2-mile-wide mat — like something from a made-for-television movie — was identified by satellite an images. Fortunately for us, this monster is predicted to make landfall in Louisiana.
At least we’ve got that going for us, right?