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Martinique: Sargassum algae transformed into sand to limit coastal erosion


Since June, sargassum and its release of toxic gases have returned to the beaches of the Atlantic coast of Martinique. At

In Vauclin, on the south Atlantic coast of Martinique, the village beach looks like a laboratory.

In the zone closest to the eddy of the waves, we store the arrivals of sargassum in clods.

The harvest will then swell the backshore for a first phase of drying.

After three months, the algae change color from orange to a grayish tint.

They are then stored on plots weakened by erosion, where they slowly begin to transform into sand.

A natural process resulting from Stéphane Béro's observations over time.

This trained fisherman, a native of the town, experienced the first arrivals of sargassum ten years ago.

He sees in this optimization a solution to control repeated invasions.

“We hope that one day this process will be recognized and reproduced on other invaded sites”

Stephane Béro, technical supervisor in the integration project

Stéphane Béro takes us to a plot at the end of the beach: “Here the coconut tree was bare.

We put the sargassum at his feet.

She turned to sand.

And it covered the roots, ”says the one who is also a technical supervisor in a work integration project.

“These are observations, experiences that we make.

It is hoped that one day this process will be recognized and reproduced on other invaded sites.


Nothing to do with the smell

In one year, Stéphane Béro estimates that he has raised the beach by almost a meter, with just over 190 cubic meters of seaweed, i.e. about half of the strandings of the year on this site (the rest having been evacuated to a specialized landfill).

The difference in level is indeed visible to the naked eye and the distinction between the original sand and the transformed seaweed, almost impossible.

No subterfuge on the other hand to mask the smell of rotten eggs due to the decomposition of algae.

During periods of massive groundings, Madidine Air – the association which measures air quality in Martinique – advises avoiding staying in this area of ​​the territory which remains very urbanized.

Source: leparis

All news articles on 2022-07-05

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