June Grass

The beach is a big attraction for all of the Memorial Day vacationers, but the visitors are not the only things lying along the shoreline.

A fresh crop of June grass has rolled up on the beaches all the way from one end of the Panhandle to the other.

It happens just about every year about this time, and you see it in the water and on the beach.

Most of the people find the algae annoying. While most people find it aesthetically unpleasing, this algae is very important for the ecology of the beaches.

Andrew David, a biologist with NOAA, says it’s a natural part of the beach ecosystem.

“It actually promotes the growth of the sand dunes and then it acts as a nutrient for sea oats and other plants which hold the dunes in place.”

On the bright side, the algae usually hangs around for a month, so in two or three weeks it will out of here and the beaches will be crystal clear.

It’s a source of food and shelter for very small fish, shrimp and crabs. It’s not toxic, so don’t worry about coming in contact with it.