BALTIMORE (WJZ) — If you’re heading to Ocean City this weekend, be extra careful if you’re planning to walk on the beach. Ron Matz has more on a mystery down the ocean.
Thousands will hit the beach this weekend.
“At first it looked like oil in the water, and then big long piles of straw,” says Anthony Wicks, visiting Ocean City from New York.
But, it’s not straw its seagrass. It’s been seen before in Ocean City but what’s unusual this time is the large amount, washing up on the beach from 94th Street to the Delaware line.
“I’m not used to huge amounts of it, and I’m kind of wondering why there’s so much of it,” says Maddie Noonan, from Oakridge, Maryland.
“Last night we could see it was two feet high, all the way down the beach as far as you could see,” says Wicks.
Town officials say they don’t know where the grass came from. Scientists say it could be phragmites grass, an invasive species. They warn this grass is sharp and there’s no telling what might have washed in with it from the ocean.
“You could see a reddish brown color coming in on the waves all the time and then just flooded the whole beach with it,” says Ocean City visitor Bob Knappman.
It’s all right in the path where people sit too, so you have to find a way to maneuver around it,” says Katie Lowman, visiting from Towson.
But Ocean City work crews have been able to rake the grass into piles and away from the most heavily used portions of the beach. Still, they caution you don’t even think about taking a walk on the wild side.
There’s some speculation the large amount of seagrass may be the result of someone clearing it out of a pond or a marsh and letting it wash into the ocean.