Austin | Dallas | Houston
Galveston Seaweed Invasion

Giant seaweed threatens to choke out Galveston's beaches for Memorial Day, but officials insist it's a friend

Galveston seaweed 2014 KHOU 2
The tons of seaweed that's poured onto Galveston's shores this week might be a problem for beachgoers. KHOU 11 News
Galveston seaweed 2014 KHOU 1
Vehicles are at work clearing the shore for Memorial Day. KHOU 11 News
Galveston seaweed 2014 KHOU 2
Galveston seaweed 2014 KHOU 1

While many Houstonians flock to Galveston's beaches to celebrate the Memorial Day weekend each year, there's a potentially plan-changing menace looming this holiday weekend.

Enormous mounds of seaweed have piled up on Galveston's shores as of late, causing a rather messy and smelly situation for beachgoers.

"It's smooshy and stinks really bad," Houston resident Amanda Molina tells KHOU Ch. 11. "We are really disappointed that it's like this, it's really gross."

 "I think people who come down here regularly are used to it. It doesn't really bother them." 

Scientists at Texas A&M University say this is the second huge wave of seaweed that's deposited itself on Galveston's shores this year, and more may be expected before Memorial Day Monday.

Galveston's Convention and Visitors Bureau notes the seaweed is a natural phenomenon which serves a purpose — preventing erosion and providing a habitat for wildlife.

"Seaweed is our friend," Galveston Convention and Visitors Bureau rep Ivette Wilhelm insists to KHOU. "It's nature's way of protecting our environment."

Galveston officials will not remove the seaweed, but will be moving it to allow beachgoers access to the water as it naturally decomposes. 

"Crews are out every single night, they start at midnight (and) work through the morning hours," Leah Cast of the Galveston Island Convention and Visitors Bureau tells the Chronicle.

Tourism officials said they don't expect the recent mounds of seaweed to impact business on the island.

"I think people who come down here regularly are used to it," Wilhelm said. "It doesn't really bother them."

Newsletters for exploring your city

Daily Digest

Houston news, views + events

The Dining Report

News you can eat

Promo Alerts

Special offers + exclusive deals

We will not share or sell your email address

Vote Now
Select CultureMap's 2015 Charity Partner

Part of our mission at CultureMap is to shine a light on all the good work Houston non-profits do to make our city a better place to live. That's why we're bringing back the CultureMap Charity Challenge presented by Yellow Cab.

Help us select our 2015 charity partner by voting once a day, every day, until February 20 at midnight.

CultureMap Houston 2015 Charity Challenge January 2015 Alzheimer's 270 by 202 pixels