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Using seaweed to protect a city in Texas from future hurricanes

By Jonathan Lam     Jul 2, 2013 in Environment
Galveston - Galveston, Texas is one of the top five cities in the United States that is most vulnerable to hurricanes. City officials are looking into harvesting seaweed to defend the city from future hurricanes.
In 1900, Galveston was a booming metropolis and a very important city to the United States. But on September 8 a massive storm came ashore and flooded Galveston Island and the city of Galveston. Within just a few hours 6,000 people were killed. This disaster that occurred in Galveston became one of the greatest natural disasters in American history.
Today, Texas officials are hoping that harvesting seaweed can protect the city of Galveston from hurricanes. The Galveston Park board of trustees has agreed to invest about $140,000 on a project that will use harvested seaweed to strengthen sand dunes so that they can better withstand the impact of future storms.
The seaweed they will be using is known as sargassum. Sargassum is an invasive brown seaweed that can grow up to 50 feet in the ocean. Over the years, the natural sand dunes along Galveston’s shoreline have eroded, making the area more susceptible to damage from future storms. By filling the sand dunes with harvested sargassum, the seaweed will help spur the growth of natural dune vegetation.
As the implanted seaweed deteriorates over time, it will serve as fertilizer for natural vegetation that grows along Galveston's coast. The new vegetation is expected to provide a sustainable natural barrier against future hurricanes.
More about Seaweed, Protect, Texas, Galveston, City
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