Smelly seaweed washes ashore Fort Lauderdale Beach

South Florida sees increase of sargassum since 2011, experts say

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Mounds of brown, smelly, tangled blobs of seaweed, also known as sargassum, have been spotted this summer on Fort Lauderdale Beach.  

Dr. Kenneth Banks, Broward County's natural resources manager, told Local 10 that South Florida has seen an increase of sargassum since 2011. 

He said sargassum is a product of high nutrients in the water. Most of it washes ashore -- all from the Sargasso Sea – because of changes in the wind patterns and ocean surface circulation.

While sargassum itself is not harmful, some beachgoers would rather sit this one out than wade in the seaweed.

The reason for the increase remains unclear, but people should be mindful, as it makes a good hiding spot for jellyfish that live in algae.