How does Sargassum on the beach impact sea turtles?

While some nesting turtles may be deterred when encountering thick mats of Sargassum, most just crawl right over it to get to the nesting beach. However, large accumulations can prevent a sea turtle hatchling from getting to the ocean. Climbing over and through a large wall of seaweed along the tide line is a daunting task for a tiny sea turtle hatchling. Our conservation team surveys the shoreline every morning to help rescue any hatchlings that have been trapped in the piles of sargassum. Any beachgoers that find live hatchlings on the beach that are struggling to get to the water can bring them to Gumbo Limbo’s hatchling drop off box on the front porch.

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1. What is Sargassum?
2. When is Sargassum season?
3. Why is Sargassum appearing along our beaches?
4. Is Sargassum harmful to beachgoers?
5. Does Sargassum impact water quality along the beaches?
6. How does Sargassum on the beach impact sea turtles?