“We’re always living with it, it’s just this is an unprecedented amount of sargassum that’s been washing up on the shores,” he said. “We’ve never seen it. It’s 10 times the amount I’ve ever seen before.”
Moser recently appealed to the Islamorada Village Council for help and they promised to see what they could do. But the issue is especially tricky because the beach Moser’s talking about has sea turtle nests.
Islamorada has strict rules about cleaning the beaches so those nests are protected. Now village officials say they will look into how other waterfront communities with turtle nesting handle beach cleaning and consider a test area with monitoring of the nests.
“I certainly wouldn’t want to be the turtle that crawls through that,” he said.
Monroe County’s tourism agency is including questions about sargassum in its regular visitor surveys. At least one county commissioner says she wants a study aimed at finding out how the seaweed is affecting tourism.
Monroe County is also advising residents to look into weed control devices to keep the algae from getting into canals — as long as they follow all the rules for working on waterways.
“We’re homeowners and we’re paying our real estate taxes,” he said. “And we just want a better community and better health and better environment.”