Why is Worthing beach wet? Because the sea weed….. But, as well as appearing …


Why is Worthing beach wet? Because the sea weed…..

But, as well as appearing in a few really bad jokes, the slimy green substance has been popping up in large quantities this summer.

Foreshore Inspector Rob explains more below…

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This week our shores were graced by a natural occurrence rarely seen in the huge quantities that were once common place in Worthing even up to thirty years ago…

Seaweed is the culprit.

After eight long weeks of uninterrupted sunshine, low offshore winds and the sediment in our waters dropping, the visibility was crystal clear and depending on what side you sit on, none of Worthing’s famous or infamous seaweed was anywhere in sight.

A low front bringing the familiar south westerly wind and some rare rain eventually retreated leaving beached maritime flora strewn on our districts beaches.

Yes it can look potentially unsightly, but altogether it’s a completely natural occurrence.

An abundance of beach fauna rely on its decaying state and with the next few tides have the situation in control and off our beaches.

Worthingites of yesteryear would have made the most of a huge seaweed bounty, as over the years most of Worthing’s rich soil has been fed and nourished by this occurrence. It used to be a common sight seeing horse and carts in a long line along our Prom harvesting this free compost for its rich organic qualities.

With food limited in past times up until as recent as World War Two; it was high on our locals pallets, being more nutrient dense than any land vegetables. It is an excellent source of micronutrients including folate, calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, selenium and iodine.

Unfortunately, with the rise in worldwide pollution and modern trawling methods, our seaweed struggles to root and establish like it used to in simpler days gone by.

Take this opportunity to learn and admire our native seaweed species. Pop into the Beach Office and let us print you off a guide with pictures or bring a guide book and wander our warm shallows.

Keep an eye out for the channel wrack, egg rack and the enormously long qualities of forest kelp, every fishes ideal habitat! This stuff can grow up to a meter a day.

With a sea temperature of 19.5 degrees, don’t let our harmless marine flora put you off a dip in our glorious coastline. Get a few meters out past the seaweed and even the most extreme cases of ‘Seaweed Phobia’ will stay suppressed!

Grit your teeth and go for it!