Mitigating Impacts of Sargassum on Coastal Communities in the Tropical Atlantic

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Issues

  • Accumulation and decay of sargassum on beaches is impacting coastlines in the Caribbean, America, and West Africa – causing losses of millions in the tourism industry, affecting the health of residents, and impacting the environment

Needs

  • Coordination of existing activities related to sargassum transport and extension monitoring, coastal inundation, and mitigation
  • Access to free, open and easily understandable monitoring and forecasting products for society
  • Knowledge about the biological and ecological impacts of the increased sargassum as well as about the reproduction and growth/decay behavior of sargassum in the new conditions and of the variations between species
  • Solutions to prevent sargassum from inundating beaches and for the collection, disposal or use of sargassum biomass in a sustainable way.

Possible Outcomes

  • Sargassum Information Hub website to share activities and networks already operating in the field to overcome the lack of coordination of activities
  • Integrated and enhanced monitoring efforts (e.g. through development of citizen science initiatives)
  • Field experiments to validate satellite products and reduce uncertainties of forecasted pathways and extensions
  • Basin-wide forecasting system to tackle possible observing gaps and indicate where long-term measurements need to take place to improve information products

Main Contacts: Isabel Sousa Pinto (CIIMAR, Portugal), Emily Smail (GEO Blue Planet Initiative, USA), Cesar Toro (IOCARIBE), Jose Moutinho (AIR Centre, Portugal)