Our picture perfect beaches may not look so great in some tourist photos – not with all the seaweed.
It's washing up just as Tampa Bay is gearing up for thousands of tourists for the Republican National Convention. There doesn't seem to be a good explanation.
Prepare to step over it piled on shore.
"It's a lot more than I've ever seen on a beach," said Mark Watson.
Clumps float in the surf, scratching swimmers.
"It makes me nervous. I don't know what's down there when I can't see," said Julie Quina.
It's not just a little.
"It might affect how tourists are thinking of the beach," Quina said.
It's scattered all along the water line.
"It's a type of seaweed that's out in the Gulf: Texas, Pinellas County, Sarasota all having washing up of the seaweed," said Clearwater spokesman Joelle Castelli.
On Clearwater Beach, work crews are out every day cleaning. A tractor rakes the seaweed away. It's a fight against seaweed inexplicably appearing more than usual.
"Since the beginning of August and trying to figure out what that's from," Castelli said.
Not every beach can afford the housekeeping.
"When people pay to park at Clearwater Beach they're paying for 365 days of raking," she said.
Without the clean sweep a seawall of seaweed is left behind after high tide.
"When I came over here the first time there was quite a bit," said Francis Carvalho.
He doesn't mind the seaweed.
"I think it's natural," he said.
All of this may be a big mess on the beach, but it's not stopping people from pushing it aside and building sandcastles anyway. In other words, they're not going to let this get in the way of their trip.
"They are the best beaches in the United States as far as I'm concerned," said Patricia Woy.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
Didn't find what you were looking for?