Dominican Republic Sargassum Seaweed In 2024 (Daily Updates)

Dominican Republic Sargassum Seaweed In 2024: What To Know

Sargassum is a floating seaweed that in “normal” environmental conditions, provides food, shelter, and a breeding ground for marine life. But those conditions no longer exist.

For a number of years now, Sargassum has been washing ashore in massive quantities on Caribbean coasts, making it a nightmare for beachgoers and a threat to sea animals in shallow waters.

The phenomenon has been linked to an excess of nutrients in the ocean and an increase in global temperatures.

Sargasumm by itself is harmless to humans but it definitely affects vacationers’ beach experience.

Join FB Group: Dominican Republic Seaweed Reporting

When is Sargassum Season in the Dominican Republic?

According to reports, in the Dominican Republic sargassum is peaking between May and August but it can vary each year depending on meteorological factors affecting the Atlantic Ocean.  

This seaweed is rarely seen between November and May because lower temperatures don’t favor its reproduction. So you might want to plan your holidays accordingly. 

So far in the 2024 season, the sargassum situation in the country is under control. Some beaches are seeing increased quantities of algae, while others are almost sargassum-free.

Related: Mexico Sargassum Daily Updates 2024: Cancun, Tulum, PDC, etc.

Recent Seaweed Updates from the Dominican Republic (Punta Cana)

Hoteliers and local authorities are on top of the issue, cleaning beaches every morning and installing ocean barriers to catch the algae before it washes ashore, in order to provide vacationers with an unforgettable beach experience.

Take a look at this timeline to get an overall picture of the current situation on some of the most popular beaches and how it evolves. This report is based on data from the Algues sargasses Punta Cana and Sargassum Seaweed Updates Dominican Republic FB groups.

May 10 – May 30

Most of the popular hotspots in the Dominican Republic are seeing a surge in the sargassum seaweed but the cleanups in the morning are very efficient. It’s a great time to be in the Dominican Republic at the moment. In the next weeks, the arrival of Sargasso is expected to surge.

A beautiful morning foto from Dreams Onyx Resort in Punta Cana

May 1 – 9: Punta Cana has been seeing a surge in sargassum seaweed

Photos uploaded on May 9 by Rick Ram shocked ‘Algues sargasses Punta Cana’ FB community. It was the biggest arrival of the 2024 seaweed season in the Dominican Republic. After 4-hours of cleaning by a tractor, the beach was completely sargassum-free, according to Rick’s following video post.

Viral video of tractor cleaning sargassum seaweed in the morning:

May 1: Latest sargassum seaweed distribution satellite map and forecast

NOTE: As scientists suggest, this satellite image should be only taken as an estimation as the sargassum seaweed flow is very unpredictable.

This map was released on MAY 1 and it suggests that the major arrival is coming in the next weeks/months. The arrows on the map suggest the flow of the sargassum and the distance from the Caribbean islands.

April 22 – 30

The annual sargassum seaweed invasion in the Caribbean has been very mild in 2024 due to lower sea temperatures. The Dominican Republic has been seeing an increase in sargassum seaweed in the last 2 weeks but it’s nowhere as bad as in Mexico. The situation is under control and regular morning clean-ups keep the famous Punta Cana beaches mostly clean.

April 30, 2024: Riu Palace – Punta Cana – Seaweed Level LOW

April 21:

– significant sargassum at Riu Palace after the morning clean up.

– Bavaro Beach, outside of Bavaro Princess Resort, one of the 10 most amazing beaches in the world as per National Geographic, reported no sargassum. 

April 20:

– Bavaro beach had a little bit of sargassum in the water but nothing that could disturb swimmers. 

– The Cortecito beach, outside of Impressive Punta Cana resort, had some sargassum on the beach but the water was clean. 

April 19:

– Cabeza de Toro beach, outside of Dreams Flora resort, had no sargassum.

April 14:

– Bavaro beach had a strong presence of sargassum on both the beach and in the water. 

Is sargassum seaweed harmful to people?

In most cases sargassum is harmless but it can cause irritation and some rash to people with sensitive skin.

What’s causing sargassum seaweed in the Dominican Republic?

The exact cause of the annual seaweed invasion in the Dominican Republic and the rest of the Caribben is not scientifically proven yet. Various studies suggest sargassum growth is related to global warming, chemicals used in agriculture and human pollution in the ocean.