The Sargasso Seaweed is wonderful and is a floating city when out on the water. It is a city for a variety of marine life and sea turtles. As it is blown into the Gulf of Mexico on the north winds, it eventually ends up on the beach and in the bay. Most of the fish have enough sense to swim out to more of it as the seaweed hits the breakers. Some of the little creatures cling on for dear life and end up on the beach where, to the delight of the shore birds, they pick thru it and eat the little shrimp and crabs that didn’t bail out in time. The Seaweed then becomes a great natural way to keep the beach in place as it sinks down into the sand and helps to hold the beach in place. Sweeping it up to please the beach goers in the long run may have the beach goers crying “where is the beach” as the beach slowly erodes away. This seaweed has piled up on these beaches for hundreds, even thousands of years and helps to renourish the fragile beach ecosystem.
The creatures that live in the Sargasso are very unique and have adapted well to their floating city. Most of them are the same orange color of the seaweed itself.

The Sargasso fish is perfectly at home being the same color and having adapted foot like fins that crawl thru the seaweed looking for a meal. It can consume a fish the same size as itself.

Sargasso Fish

The Sargasso File fish uses its file like fin to hold itself in the seaweed.

Sargasso File Fish

The Sargasso Seahorse and its relative the Pipefish are also that great golden orange color. There are nudibranchs and anemones, Sargasso crabs and shrimp.

Sargasso Nudibranch blending into the sargasso seaweed

Other creatures also use the Seaweed as a nursery for their young such as Southern Hakes and Butterfish and many exotic fish such as tiny flying fish are found in this unique Sargasso.
The reason this seaweed floats is that it has hundreds of tiny air filled sacs that you can pop like bubble wrap. If you pick it up on the beach just as it floats in and give it a shake you can see the little shrimp and crabs that are hiding in it. If you take a small cup to the beach with you and fill it with sea water, then shake the freshly beached sargasso over it the tiny creatures will fall into the water and you can enjoy seeing them.
Also you can help save wildlife by picking up trash on the beach and disposing of it in the trash cans provided by the city and county.
If you would like to see the creatures that live in this unique seaweed and learn more about how to help save wildlife call 956-454-4799 to visit the South Padre Island Dolphin Research and Nature Center, a non profit organization dedicated to helping save wildlife of South Padre Island through education.

Scarlet and George Colley of South Padre Island's "Fins to Feathers" have been filming and documenting their dolphins for eight years. They operate a tour business on the Island and write seven articles a month for local papers on the nature of the Island.

Cell Phone: (956) 739-BIRD [2473] Home Phone: (956) 761-7178 Email: