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Ultimate Sea Weed Loose in America

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12:20pm, February 18, 2003

On June 12, while surveying a private lagoon in San Diego County, biologists ran across a strange, 14-inch-high mat of algae. Not only did it look unlike anything they had seen before, but it had infiltrated, squashed, and killed a 30-by-60-foot patch of 4-foot-high eelgrass.

Rachel Woodfield, part of the research team that made the discovery, sent a specimen to seaweed taxonomist Paul C. Silva of the Jepson Herbarium at the University of California, Berkeley. "I took one look," he recalls, "and it just screamed, 'I'm a weed! Get out of my way!'"

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