Stinky seaweed a concern on Florida's Gulf coast beaches

10:03 AM, Aug 21, 2012   |    comments
Large swaths of seaweed washes ashore on St. Pete Beach.
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SARASOTA, Florida (AP) - Hundreds of tons of stinky seaweed are piling up on beaches from Sarasota to Clearwater, at the same time that tens of thousands of people are set to visit the area for the Republican National Convention.

The Herald Tribune reports the seaweed is a variety of sargassum that usually stays far offshore. It began washing in after Tropical Storm Debby made landfall in June.

So far, Sarasota County officials say crews have removed more than 200 tons from that area's white sand beaches.

Sea turtle nesting season is also hindering efforts to clear the seaweed from the beaches.

The Republican National Convention will be held in Tampa from Aug. 27-30, but tourism officials hope that some of the visitors will explore other areas of the region, like the beaches.

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