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Hellshire Beach, January 2020, climate change

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written by owen on 2020-Jan-02.

My last trip to Hellshire Beach was in Dec 2017. 2 years have passed between now and then. I had wanted to visit more often but life is unpredictable. So this time I hit the beach on New Years Day. Not much of a crowd at 10 in the morning but lots of cars parked everywhere.

The lag time between visits has allowed nature and the fresh concrete to grow a massive amount of this green stringy moss thing. There was evidence of this green moss in the 2017 pictures but the moss has now flourished to the point where it is very difficult (pointless) to access the water from the stairs of the food establishments. You will notice from the pictures that the moss is thicker around the areas which are concrete re-enforced - the rest of the beach is pretty much the same as it was originally - no evidence of climate change there. Sugarman's beach is pretty much the same except for the effect of time on its man made structures.

Some of the moss has spread to other areas but with the lack of concrete structures it seems to not be able to set-in and grow. I am not sure how this moss/weed grows but i know its linked to the tides and the pores in the concrete.

At first I thought this green stuff was similar to Sargassum which washes up onto the shore but on closer inspection it seems that the build up is really localized to the specific areas where the buildings meet the water. Climate change aside the water level is pretty much the same.

The buildings however seem to have been upgraded and extended out into the water. You can also see failed attempts to build out into the water which have provided additional areas for the green moss to grow and florish. Building in salt water is not cheap and requires special equipment so these buildings will just keep building out using concrete and the moss will just keep growing. I have seen this type of growth before in man made drains and gutters but this must be the salt water variety.


This time I took some short videos; thick moss, Sugarman's Beach, construction, and a blurry shot of waves. Anyway pictures below.

Eastern side

Eastern side

Middle by Prendys

Middle by Prendys

Construction fail

Construction fail

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Middle by Prendys

Middle by Prendys

Western side

Western side

A little Sargassum  but mostly moss

A little Sargassum but mostly moss

Closeup of the green stuff

Closeup of the green stuff

Sugarmans Beach

Sugarmans Beach

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View from up on the hill.  Sugarmans on the left, Hellshire beach on the right.  You can make out the green area in the middle.

View from up on the hill. Sugarmans on the left, Hellshire beach on the right. You can make out the green area in the middle.

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