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If your summer travel plans include a trip to the Texas Gulf Coast for a little beach action, you may want to keep your eyes on reports of seaweed.

Have you heard about the Great Atlantic Sargassum Belt? It's basically a very long, very twisted mass of seaweed. And it's headed towards Texas according to the Dallas Morning News.

Rafts of brown seaweed, Sargassum sp., pile up on the shore of Miami Beach, Florida, USA
VW Pics/Universal Images Group v

According to reports, the 5,000 mile long belt of seaweed (that's a giant belt) could start making landfall on Texas beaches this summer at the peak of tourism for the Texas Gulf Coast. The good news is that it won't last long once it hits the beach. The bad news? You won't want to be anywhere near it when it does wash up. According to the Dallas Morning News, once the blob of seaweed washes ashore it could blanket beaches with thick algae that is pungent.

Once it washes ashore, sargassum is likely to cause trouble, blanketing beaches in a thick yellow-brown algae that emits a pungent smell as it decays. Beach towns are preparing for the deluge as officials provide guidance on seaweed removal.

“It’s a nuisance,” said Anna Armitage, a marine biology professor at Texas A&M University at Galveston. “Beachgoers won’t like it, but it’s only a temporary nuisance.”

Pieces of the seaweed have already begun to wash onto shores in Florida and Mexico, and authorities earlier this year reported excessive levels of seaweed on beaches near Cancun. An estimated 200 tons of sargassum washed up on beaches along the Yucatán Peninsula this year.

Reports say that most of the seaweed is headed for Florida and Mexico but some will reach Texas and there will be some who are upset about it.

The best plan? Actually plan for it. There are groups on Facebook tracking the seaweed blob and you can always contact hotels to see how the beaches are.

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