Red Drift Algae Containment Boom
Texas Boom Company was pleased to help facilitate the initial trial for equipment designed to help address the challenges posed by Red Drift Algae in Sanibel, Florida. Red Drift Algae periodically accumulates along beaches, resulting in littered beaches and unpleasant odors. This is certainly a deterrent to beach-goers, and detrimental to businesses that depend on beach tourist traffic. The intent is for this type of equipment to eliminate the presence of this nuisance algae in beach areas that are frequented as recreational and resort areas.
TBC was approached with specifications for a unique product targeting marine vegetation containment. The customer wanted inflatable flotation to make transport and storage of the floating boom curtain. It also required a deeper permeable skirt that would allow water to flow through it while still impeding the flow of the algae. The height of the skirt was 48 inches, while the freeboard (height above the waterline) was 8 inches. While this particular combination was uncommon given the request for inflatable flotation (making it a hybrid of Inflatable Containment Boom and a Permeable Turbidity Curtains), it was well within Texas Boom’s capability to quickly deliver the finished product.
The floating boom curtain serves as a barrier to corral the algae before it reaches the beach. The boom is deployed in a way to funnel the algae to the removal equipment while it is still in the water. The removal of the algae from the water is intended to minimize the impact on fish and animals that rely on vegetation as habitat. While the trials shown in the images and video below were performed along the shoreline, an ongoing effort would likely be performed by equipment operating on a boat or barge that would allow the extraction to take place farther out from the beach.
Feedback from the customer was excellent. The boom curtain performed exactly as hoped and allowed for the focus to be placed on the algae extraction equipment and the process used to execute the trials. We look forward to providing the incremental product to support the removal of Red Drift Algae from high traffic beaches.
While the exact specifications of this particular product were unique, the concept of using a containment boom to tackle seaweed and other marine vegetation problems is widespread. Texas Boom Company offers a Seaweed Boom product specifically designed for this application. It features closed-cell foam to serve as floatation to avoid the introduction of Styrofoam to beach areas. In addition, if offers a permeable mesh skirt to allow water to move through the skirt while eliminating the risk of sea life becoming caught if a net. The Seaweed Boom’s depth also allows sea life to swim freely under the suspended curtain. Finally, the material is durable and capable of holding up despite saltwater and UV exposure. Tension cables can also be added when wind, tide, or current conditions may warrant added tensile strength. This Seaweed Boom can be an effective Sargassum or Red Drift Algae barrier.
Texas Boom is happy to consult with any customer to help design and build a product that will meet their exact requirements. By analyzing our customers’ specific needs, we can deliver the intended results. If you have a project you would like to discuss, please call (844) 444-8144 for a free consultation with one of our experts.