Miami Beach wrestles with a new and unwelcome visitor: Sargasso (VIDEO)

The famed sands of Miami Beach that have lured models, tourists and celebrities for decades are now drawing a frequent visitor that nobody wants: seaweed, foul-smelling mountains of seaweed. Some days in the last few weeks, there has been so much drifting ashore that it blocks swimmers from entering the water in some stretches

The foul-smelling brown stuff that piled up on South Florida’s shores in the past few years is again washing up along the coast and some beachgoers are fed up. Miami Beach residents are pressuring Miami-Dade county to come up with a plan to remove the slimy nuisance, formally known as sargassum.

“We have been suffering the consequences of this sargassum for more than three years; our properties are being devalued, our quality of life is being impacted and tourism in Miami Beach will suffer if this continues,” resident Arsenio Milian said to city and county officials at a Miami Beach Community Affairs Committee meeting earlier this week.

Scientists say it’s not a question of whether it will continue, but how bad it will be: worse or just slightly better than last year’s record-breaking crop. While sargassum is a natural occurrence, traditionally washing up on beaches in the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean shorelines, it has only become a major issue over the past few years. It’s not a marine life mass killer like red tide or potentially toxic as algae blooms, but it’s annoying for tourists and beach lovers.

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