Jan. 29, 2021

SUFB 1113: Can We Reuse Sargassum For Compost And Topsoil?

SUFB 1113: Can We Reuse Sargassum For Compost And Topsoil?

If you have been to any beach in the Atlantic Ocean and/or Caribbean Sea, then you have probably witnessed a beach that has piles and piles of sargassum messing it up and causing a stink.  I remember this happening on my last visit to Mexico. My...


If you have been to any beach in the Atlantic Ocean and/or Caribbean Sea, then you have probably witnessed a beach that has piles and piles of sargassum messing it up and causing a stink. 

I remember this happening on my last visit to Mexico. My family and I went on vacation and we were looking forward to relaxing on the beach and swimming in the Ocean. When we got there; however, the beach was populated by piles (up to the middle of my shin!) of sargassum and trucks that were carrying it away. The trucks were there all day. Needless to say that the beach was not as peaceful as we expected. 

It would be great if we could find a way to reuse the sargassum in a way that is sustainable instead of disposing of it in a landfill, right? Well, researchers at the University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences are conducting a pilot study to answer that question.

The big question at hand is whether the sargassum contains elevated levels of Arsenic as they did in studies from Mexico and Texas. Tests are currently being analyzed to determine if sargassum along Florida beaches have similarly elevated levels of Arsenic.  

If the levels are below the limits of Arsenic, then the pilot project can begin and we can see if sargassum can be reused as compost and mixed within topsoil for agricultural purposes. 

Link to Article: https://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/news/2021/01/13/can-sargassum-seaweeds-brown-pungent-properties-serve-as-a-green-solution-to-topsoil/

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