Bermuda’s beautiful coastline has long been a source of inspiration for me. Earlier this summer our usually pristine beaches were awash with mounds of brown plant life - the Sargassum seaweed.
I often head to the beach for a walk after a long day in the studio. As I was wandering along Horseshoe Bay one evening, I picked up a piece of seaweed and looked at it closely. Away from the masses, its delicate fronds were a wonder to look at - a labyrinth of tiny lace-like structures with small berries elegantly swaying from its tips.
I’ve always been fascinated by the beauty that can be found in the smallest of details and this one made my heart sing. The Sargassum seaweed was a real beauty to behold!
I researched it and was even more amazed to discover the essential role that it plays in supporting the ocean’s ecosystem. It is a refuge for countless tiny marine animals, many of whom could not survive anywhere else.
Sargassum has been used as a natural fertiliser for many years in Bermuda. It is particularly effective on corn, squash, beans and citrus trees, all of which are plentiful on the island, and also helps to reduce the growth of weeds. I urge you to collect it and use it in your garden. Not only will you be putting the excess Sargassum taken from our beaches to good use, you will also be reducing the use of toxic herbicides that run off into our oceans.
The struggling health of our seas - made evident by the masses of Sargassum that are washing up - is a local warning sign of very serious global climate change. This summer The Great Atlantic Sargassum Belt, as it has become known, stretched over 8.800km across the North Atlantic and was made up of over 20 million tonnes of biomass.
We can all help to protect the health of our beautiful coast by being mindful of our daily habits. Reducing our usage of plastics and minimizing our consumption of manufactured goods are changes we can all make to preserve our precious environment. With every one of us doing something to help, we can have a positive and long-lasting impact.
And next time you see a piece of Sargassum floating on the surface or washed up on the shore, I urge you to look a closer. It is fascinating and serves as a reminder that there is beauty to behold all around us.