Barbados Pocket Guide

Beaches and the Environment

Peaceful Beach on the East Coast, Barbados Pocket Guide

Beaches and the Environment

The island of Barbados has become quite focused on the environment in recent times. As such, there seems to be an implementation of plans throughout the island embarking on cleaning up the environment. Barbadians are constantly urged to keep  their surroundings clean as this negatively impacts on the environment in one way or another.

 

As it stands, the workers of the National Conservation Commission already do an exceptional job at keeping the beaches of Barbados clean. However, more work needs to be done by Barbadians to assist in helping with this effort. In the past, clean up campaigns have taken place that have seen many environmentally conscious Barbadians come out in their numbers to lend a helping hand with cleaning up our beaches. As clean as our beaches may appear to the average eye, there is often garbage left between bushes and trees that need to be addressed. The clean up campaign is not always focused on the beach as dives are taken to remove any garbage in the ocean that may very well cause potential problems to marine life.

 

Sargassum Seaweed - Nuisance or Blessing?

Reports indicate that from as early as April 2010, the island of Barbados has been experiencing an influx of Sargassum seaweed on our beautiful beaches. This seaweed floats rather lazily across the ocean but has found its way from the Sargasso Sea (which is home to this particular species of seaweed) to the island of Barbados.

 

Concerns voiced across Barbados with regards to the seaweed include such as its unaesthetic appearance. While others seem more concerned about the stench that emanates once this seaweed starts to decay.

 

Some have gone ahead and made the best of this seemingly unsightly occurence as it is being used as a fertiliser in some gardens across Barbados. Some are even testifying that this seaweed is playing a significant role in keeping away the giant African snails from gardens. Maybe Sargassum seaweed may not be that bad to have around after all!

 

An Abundance of Sargassum Seaweed Washed Ashore on the East Coast, Barbados Pocket Guide

 

About Sargassum Seaweed

As unsightly as Sargassum seaweed appears to the naked eye, this mini-ecosysytem provides food and shelter for baby turtles, crustaceans, organisms and small fish. In the instance of growth on the parts of some of these attached animals, the Sargassum seaweed carries an additional weight that pulls it down to the sea bed and leads to its death where it decomposes and serves as food for other organisms.

 

Sargassum seaweed have leaf-shaped blades and inflated air bladders that are attached to their stems. The tiny oval air bladders spread throughout the seaweed's leaves and aid in its floating process that keeps it close to the sunlight.

 

Despite the fact that existing currents work to keep the sargassum seaweed centrally located in the Sargasso Sea, prevailing winds, storms and spiraling currents help scatter the weed throughout the earth's oceans.

 

Reproduction of the sargassum seaweed occurs asexually without seeds. The plant is fragmented by the constant movement of the ocean's currents and this fragmentation aids in the reproduction process. Sections of seaweed become trapped in the warm and inviting waters of the Gulf of Mexico where the plant multiplies at a rate.

 

It is also known that some marine life have metamorphosed along with this particular seaweed and taken on its colour for camouflage.

 

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