The Wrack!

For more about the Wrack and its contents, see: What's a Sea-Bean   and   How to Collect Sea-Beans

The Wrack is the material left behind on the beach from the waves and rise/fall of the tiedes. The wrack mostly contains seaweed but also may contain driftwood, tar balls, trash, toys, and drift seeds! The fall of the tide typically leaves the wrack deposited as a line of debris on the beach; this is called the wrack line.

When you first hit the beach, and see the wrack line, excitement builds and adrenaline flows.
As you approach the wrack, you look at it and ask:
Are you a "Good Wrack" or a "Bad Wrack"?

Well, let's first state that ANY wrack (sans trash) is good for the beach. The vegetative components of the wrack will dry, decay and provide nutrients to beach organisms and dune plants stabilizing the beach. That said, if your municipality supports "beach cleaning" efforts which rake away the wrack, we ENcourage you to DIScourage them from doing so... this is a very bad practice.

To sea-beaners, the wrack is either "good" if it contains sea-beans and "bad" if it does not.
By examining the composition of the wrack components, you can quickly decide: good or bad?

"Good" Wrack
This is Sargassum weed, fresh and wet on the left, old and dry on the right.
This comes from offshore, and (possibly) brings sea-beans with it!

"Bad" Wrack
This is seagrass, fresh and wet on the left, old and dry on the right.
This seagrass is Halodule sp., but you may also find a wider bladed seagrass, Thalassia sp. (not shown).
The seagrasses (typically) come from estuarine lagoons, and (likely) has no sea-beans in it!
The Florida Keys has a lot of Thalassia growing offshore, which often washes onshore. Again, this is of local origin...   no beans!

Note: This tri-fold brochure is OLD (1999)...   hence, the addresses and phone numbers listed are now obsolete.
Click the images to view a much higher resolution image.
This brochure is also available as a PDF document: Wrack.pdf

A video by the Audubon Society: What is Coastal Wrack?

  Return to Top  

www.seabean.com The Wrack
ALL web pages © www.seabean.com --- All rights reserved.
ALL photos © www.seabean.com or other photographers individually credited.
Use of ANY photo without written permission is prohibited!