LIFESTYLE

Mexico fights to thwart seaweed invasion along 112 miles of Caribbean coast

Large quantities of seaweed blanket the beach in the Mexican resort city of Cancun, Mexico, Wednesday, July 15, 2015. The seaweed invasion, which appears to have hit most of the Caribbean this year, is generally considered a nuisance and has prompted some hotel cancellations from tourists but scientists consider washed-up seaweed an important part of the coastal eco-system and plays a role in beach nourishment although some scientists have also associated the large quantities of seaweed this year in the Caribbean region with higher than normal temperatures and low winds, both of which influence ocean currents, and they draw links to global climate change. (AP Photo/ Israel Leal)

Large quantities of seaweed blanket the beach in the Mexican resort city of Cancun, Mexico, Wednesday, July 15, 2015. The seaweed invasion, which appears to have hit most of the Caribbean this year, is generally considered a nuisance and has prompted some hotel cancellations from tourists but scientists consider washed-up seaweed an important part of the coastal eco-system and plays a role in beach nourishment although some scientists have also associated the large quantities of seaweed this year in the Caribbean region with higher than normal temperatures and low winds, both of which influence ocean currents, and they draw links to global climate change. (AP Photo/ Israel Leal)

Mexican authorities say they are working to clean sargassum seaweed from 112 miles (180 kilometers) of the country's Caribbean coast and will try to prevent more from coming ashore.

The Environment Department said Tuesday that the government is setting up air and sea monitoring of sargassum mats "to prevent them from reaching the coast."

The department said the "unusual" seaweed accumulation could be due to high levels of nutrients in ocean water, climate change or changes in ocean temperatures, currents or wind patterns.

The seaweed removal efforts will cover Holbox in the north through Cancún, Isla Mujeres, Playa de Carmen, Cozumel, Akumal, Tulum and as far south as Mahahual.

Sargassum is an algae that grows in the Sargasso Sea, a large body of warm water in the mid-Atlantic.

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