The interactions between the polysaccharide alginate with charged ionic surfactants (anionic and cationic) in aqueous solution have been investigated using pyrene as a photophysical probe. Static fluorescence determinations have been used to obtain information about the new microenvironments arising by these interactions. Micropolarity studies using the I(1)/I(3) ratio of the vibronic bands and I(E)/I(M) ratio between the excimer and monomer emissions of pyrene shows the formation of hydrophobic domains. The interactions between the natural polyelectrolytes and the oppositely charged surfactants lead to the formation of pre-micelles at surfactant concentrations lower than the CMC of the surfactants. The aggregation process is assumed to be due to electrostatic attraction. On the other side, systems containing an anionic surfactant do not show the same behaviour at low concentrations.