Seaweed has Siesta vacationers 'disappointed'

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Posted: Monday, September 30, 2013 2:40 pm | Updated: 11:02 am, Tue Oct 1, 2013.

SIESTA KEY, Fla. - Do September showers bring October seaweed? That's the theory by some people on South Siesta Key, where piles of smelly stuff has lined up along the shoreline.

Florencia Stefano and her family are visiting from Toronto.  "Unfortunately it spoils the beachfront, it's not the most attractive," she said.

The Nareys are here from Pittsburgh for their anniversary, and they didn't expect to see this long line of stinky seaweed in front of their resort.  "I've been here many times before, but never saw this," Kevin Narey said.

Nick Cunningham knows sand. Not only has this former Marine served in the desert of Iraq, he's also worked for a resort on this stretch of beach for three years and says it's like clockwork after big storms.  "The tides are pulling it in and pulling it out to different places on the beach," he said.

Cunningham also said he gets a lot of complaints from resort guests, but he says there's not much he can do.  "It's turtle season and we can't mess with it too much."

Despite the smell, Cunningham believes there is a benefit to this mess.

"The seaweed actually comes in, the tide rolls sand over it and creates a foundation to help build the beach back up."

And he's not the only one who makes the best of it. Gloria Seidl of South Carolina has her own spin:  "Well, the beach is gorgeous and sometimes you just get a little bit of bad luck!"

We showed the experts at Mote Marine our picture and they called it Red Drift Algae. Here is their definition: It is any of a number of larger species of algae that can be seen with the naked eye. These species, which vary in color and can be red, brown, green or white occur naturally in the environment and can sometimes detach from the bottom and wash up along area beaches. These species are called macroalgae because they can be seen without aid of a microscope.

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