Millions of tons of sargassum wash up on beaches across North America every year. Exposure can lead to breathing problems, and it costs millions to clean it up. For major resorts, it’s costing millions upon millions in lost revenue as once amazing beaches are turned into hydrogen sulfide gas and ammonia-stinking wastelands that provide no value for travel goers.
Now, one Mexican entrepreneur is building houses out of bricks made from the invasive species.
01:14 Collecting Sargassum
02:12 Sargablock Process
03:18 Omar’s Story
05:12 Donating Homes
6:00 Global Solutions
What Is Sargassum?
Sargassum is a genus of brown macroalgae in the order Fucales of the Phaeophyceae class. Numerous species are distributed throughout the temperate and tropical oceans of the world, where they generally inhabit shallow water and coral reefs, and the genus is widely known for its planktonic species.
Decomposing sargassum releases hydrogen sulfide gas and ammonia, which can cause respiratory, skin, and neurocognitive symptoms in both local residents and tourists. Toxic exposure typically happens during decomposition, approximately 48 hours after it washes ashore.
Why is sargassum a problem?
Onshore, the seaweed can be a nuisance, cutting off access to beaches, hampering the use of coastal waters, disrupting coastal ecosystems, and making a huge, stinking mess as it decomposes. Large amounts of Sargassum can also contain high concentrations of heavy metals and arsenic that may cause health issues.
Sargassum presents risks to human health as well. In the water, it’s harmless to humans, but the trouble begins once it lands on the beach and starts to decompose. The decomposition of beached sargasso begins 48 hours after washing up. It then releases hydrogen sulfide (H2S) gas and ammonia.
Green sea turtles will eat large amounts of sargassum throughout their lifetimes. Besides sea turtles, this floating habitat provides food, refuge and breeding grounds for an array of other sea life including crabs, shrimp, mahi mahi, jacks, and amberjacks.
Johnny Punish is the founder and owner of GlobalThinkers.money. He is also a writer, global citizen eco-activist, visionary, musician, artist, entertainer, businessman, investor, life coach, and syndicated columnist.
Punish was educated at the University of Nevada Las Vegas (1980-81) and California State University Fullerton (1981-1984) with studies in accounting and business.
Before the “internets” had been invented, he owned and ran (5) national newspapers in the United States of America from 1987-1998 Punish has over 130 original songs written. He records and produces music. A member of ASCAP, Punish has several songs placed in feature films. His music is promoted worldwide and played on all digital networks and net radio.
He is also the founder of VT Foreign Policy, a freedom media
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