But now much of the coast is covered in heaps of rotting seaweed, contributing to an economic and ecological crisis.
The issue has been caused by an enormous bloom of sargassum algae, which washed ashore from the nearby Sargasso Sea. There has long been sargassum in that part of the ocean. But the rate of its growth has increased rapidly in recent years – so much so that in 2018 its summer bloom almost spanned the Atlantic from West Africa to the Caribbean.
And things are set to get even worse.