If you're even remotely familiar with the Emerald Coast, you may have heard mention of "June Grass" and musings about whether or not it will disturb everyone's beachy fun. But many don't know about June Grass and therefore don't even anticipate it's impact on a trip to 30A. So let's talk about it.
So, what is "June Grass"? For starters, it's not a grass at all, but rather a type of algae that is scientifically named Cladophora, or Sargassum. The name June Grass came about due to it's routine appearance along the Gulf Coast every June. While it traditionally appears during June, it can also present itself during the summer months, as well as in May. However, whenever the June Grass does first appear, it most likely sticks around for the rest of the summer months.
One thing to note about June Grass is that it is not related to the Red Tide ( a Harmful Algae Bloom, also known as a HAB). In fact, June Grass is vital to the Emerald Coast ecosystem. Providing shelter and cover for baby sea turtles and a shore birds, Sargassum also is a vital source of nutrition for multiple species.
June Grass clearly has environmental significance; but what does it mean for your vacation? While June Grass isn't dangerous or toxic like the infamous Red Tide, it is an annoying nuisance. In the water, it feels like slimy fingers. And on the sand, it is left to naturally decompose in the sun, giving off a strong smell. While this can be a frustration, perhaps you can find some patience for it knowing that you are watching the environment feed itself right before your eyes. This is a great opportunity to teach kiddo's about how the earth cares for itself!
While you can't avoid June Grass, we can all rest assured knowing that our gorgeous coast line is continuously investing in itself. With each pile of decomposing Sargassum, we know that the Emerald Coast will continue to be the gorgeous hub of nature and beauty for years to come!