Smelly Seaweed Shocks Sunbathers and Sponges

By Toni Waterman


July 5, 2012

BOSTON — If you've been spending early summer at the beach, you might have noticed something in the air. An invasive and quite ... pungent ... species of seaweed has made its way to the East Coast from Asia. Judy Pederson of MIT’s Sea Grant Program said the seaweed, which favors rocky shorelines and coves, could be squeezing out native species.
"We’re finding that over time these non-native species come in early, they grow faster or sooner than our native species and then they begin to displace them," she said. "And the native species they might displace are things like mussels, barnacles, sponges — things that are typically what we think of as our major New England species."
The seaweed has also become a hassle to state workers, who say they have no place to dispose of it — or the money and resources necessary to do so.

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