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Quintana Roo to spend 200 million pesos to fight against sargassum

Quintana Roo is about to invest around MXN $200 million, from its own funds. The works place the first barrier in Cancún begin today, which will look to deflect the seaweed in the sea and to redirect it with the help of wind and the natural sea currents.

The aim is to stop it from piling up in massive quantities on the beach shores, which will then decompose and generate bigger environmental and economic problems in the Mexican Caribbean.

Quintana Roo set to install containment barriers to halt sargassum invasion
Machines will help cleaning Mexican's beaches!

The seaweed in the coastal line will be removed manually and with machineries, and deposited in other sites.

The Quintana Roo government hired the Goimar-Goimsa Group, to rent seven structures that will deflect the seaweed and other that will allow to collect it through nets or suction pump explained Quintana Roo’s Ecology and Environment Secretary, Alfredo Arellano Guillermo.

The first fence, that will work as an experiment, will be placed on the Punta Nizuc area, in Cancún. The rest will be placed in Tulum, Playa del Carmen, Mahahual, and Puerto Morelos.

The project to contain seaweed was announced Tuesday August 7 during a private meeting held between the local government’s officials and hoteliers from this touristic centers, and later, in a second and public meeting, with social sectors, academics, and civic organizations.

“This won’t solve the problem because it depends on the currents and the wind, but it can reduce the quantity of seaweed that arrives at the beaches. They’re plastic barriers, made out of canvas, with buoys to float, they’re 50 centimeters wide, that allows retaining the seaweed”.

Quintana Roo set to install containment barriers to halt sargassum invasion
Quintana Roo set to install containment barriers to halt sargassum invasion

“This kind of net doesn’t harm the fauna, they can swim beneath it without a problem”, explained the Ecology and Environment Secretary

He admitted that the federal support “wasn’t what we expected” and that on the local level THE topic has been “forgotten”, and it wasn’t until the seaweed amounts were obvious and turned into a problem that the government’s counselors coordinator, Felipe Ornelas, asked to be explained the “large-scale measures” and the “detailed definitions” that will be taken, as the issue is an emergency.

Besides the seaweed deflection, the official said that the collection tasks will continue, they will avoid burying the seaweed in the beaches, under the sand, because this will have a significative environmental impact in the ecosystem, modifying the beach’s color, its composition, and quality.

He said that at the beginning the seaweed volume allowed to be buried in the beaches, but this practice is no longer “recommended”.

As other 19 countries are experiencing the atypical and excessive arrival of this kind of seaweed, the state’s government is planning to organize a symposium that brings together different experts and governments to share their management experiences and shared financial aid mechanisms.

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