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Cancun Ramps Up Beach Cleaning Efforts To Combat Sargassum Arrival

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The president of Benito Juarez, Ana Patricia Peralta, is making it a priority to strengthen Cancun’s beach clean-ups.

Cancun beach with sargassum

Her mission is to keep on top of the sargassum disposal, to ensure that locals, plus national and international tourists, can be free to enjoy the beautiful, algae-free beaches.

The popular tourist destination of Cancun has had cleaning teams, and even the navy, chipping in to remove the influx of sargassum – they’ve already disposed of around a huge 1,168 tons of sargassum in Cancun in 2023 so far.

couple enjoying the beach in cancun

She seems to be predominantly focusing on cleaning the areas with the most sargassum, but luckily there’s been significantly less this week – the navy is also on patrol with their boats, specifically designed for removing sargassum.

Quintana Roo’s government is also promoting the program “Everyone against sargassum” – the municipality is providing around 10 people for each public beach, and for the beaches with a higher concentration of the macroalgae, they are providing around 50 to 200 people, depending on the density.

In fact, recently, after checking out the areas which needed cleaning, the president herself even ended up joining in on the sargassum collection!

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sargassum clean up in cancun

What Is Sargassum?

Sargassum is a brown macro-algae, that’s typically found in tropical regions and is generally found in shallow waters and coral reefs – it’s not very harmful to human health, but has been known to cause rashes, and have quite a pungent smell.

Aerial view of the Mexican Caribbean coastline with sargassum

The amount of sargassum on Cancun’s gorgeous beaches has been significantly less in the first week of April 2023 compared to previous years as well.

With that being said, the cleaning teams have still been very much present and needed in areas where there’s still a heavy amount of sargassum.

What Else Has Been Done To Help?

Barrier Installation

Ana Peralta has also placed barriers in the Mexican Caribbean ocean to prevent the sargassum from piling up on Cancun’s beaches, the barriers are made from biodegradable material and sit in the ocean to catch the sargassum.

The trapped sargassum is then collected by boats and taken away from the beach – and it really seems to be helping.

Sargassum barrier

Increased Number Of Cleaning Staff

Another measure taken by Ana is the increased amount of cleaning staff as aforementioned, they have special tools and machinery to help clean the beaches effectively and it’s definitely helped with the recent influx during peak tourist season.

Collaboration With Private Sectors

The president has also been closely working with the private sector, by partnering up with resorts, hotels, and businesses – these businesses will typically provide financial support and volunteers that can help clean the beaches on a regular basis.

The sargassum problem over the past few months has been a little concerning for the tourism industry. However, the government has been proactive in taking the correct measures to make sure everything is in control so that locals and travelers can still enjoy Cancun and all of its beautiful beaches.

A cleaner at a Cancun beach dealing with sargassum

Sargassum season officially starts in Cancun around May and generally lasts until around October, during this time, the seaweed can accumulate and really affect the beaches and water quality.

It definitely seems as though Cancun and Quintana Roo are fully equipped for any heavy influx of sargassum that might make its way to the shores again.

If you are traveling to Cancun and are concerned about the sargassum situation, it’s worth checking for updates before you head out.

The collaborative effort of extra cleaning staff, the navy, volunteers, the private sector, barrier installation, and everyone else that has contributed has really helped reduce the volume of the sargassum on the beaches.

It looks as if Cancun is really on the path towards having its beaches in a much cleaner and safer state, which in turn will help boost the tourism industry, and quality of life for locals and travelers when visiting the beautiful city of Cancun.

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