Both travelers and the authorities across the Mexican Caribbean have their fingers crossed as the biggest step in the battle against sargassum began on May 4th.
This new step comes in the form of even more sargassum barriers, a technology that has already paid dividends for Mahahual and Puerto Morelos.
Furthermore, the head of anti-sargassum efforts by the Mexican navy, José Ángel Pérez Pérez, is confident this could be the turning point in what has been almost 10 years of disruption caused by sargassum.
A Chess Move From Authorities
Visitors to Playa del Carmen and Tulum, as well as other nearby destinations, will be used to seeing the daily sargassum clean-up efforts by now.
Each morning armies of workers descend on the beaches to clean up the tides’ latest smelly gift of sargassum. Like pawns on a chessboard, they are the current frontline defense against tourists needing to trundle through 2-3 feet of sargassum on the shore each day.
But, as the levels of sargassum rise each year, it has become an impossible task to keep the beaches consistently clean and usable.
In any case, the pitchforks, wheelbarrows, and specialist cleaning equipment being deployed on the beaches have never been the full plan to deal with sargassum.
For years now, the authorities, together with the Mexican Navy, have been installing sargassum barriers all along the Mexican Caribbean, and while they haven’t stopped everything, they are already having an incredibly positive impact.
Understandably, travelers may question their use if so much sargassum is still currently making landfall, and that question has a straightforward answer, the barriers are part of a larger final plan that requires all pieces in place to have full effect.
And this is where the great news comes in; this new announcement of more barriers currently being installed is, in fact, the final piece of the puzzle.
Once this latest installation is complete, the Mexican Caribbean will be defended by over 5.3 miles of at-sea sargassum barriers. All with scientifically chosen locations according to the currents that pull sargassum onto the Mexican coast.
How Much Sargassum Reaches Beaches?
Travelers who have experienced the huge levels of sargassum in the Mexican Caribbean over the years would be surprised to know at its height, the sargassum reaching the beaches is just 1% of what is floating around the Caribbean Sea.
Unfortunately, that 1% is still an apocalyptic event to tourists’ ability to enjoy a beach vacation. When sargassum arrives each year, it dents the dreams and hopes of thousands of vacations.
Is This The End Of Sargassum?
No, to put it plainly.
These steps will hopefully turn the vast majority of sargassum away from the Mexican Caribbean, but the sea is an unpredictable force of nature, and even with the barrier system in place, freak currents, storm-fed swells, and other events can drag large amounts of sargassum past these defenses.
Why The Fight Against Sargassum Matters
Each year the sargassum situation across the Mexican Caribbean has become an increasing headache to travelers and the tourism industry as a whole.
With the rivalry to attract tourists building between Quintana Roo (Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Tulum, etc) and Los Cabos on the Pacific coast, sargassum has been knocking brownie points off the Mexican Caribbean in this tussle for travelers.
Unfortunately for Quintana Roo, the destination of Los Cabos is completely sargassum free and working fast to catch up to the likes of Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum in terms of vacation offerings.
And while for now, the Mexican Caribbean is still the powerhouse of Mexican tourism, unless sargassum is brought under control, it could spell disaster for the continued growth of this world-famous vacation destination.
Watch And Hope
Places like Playa del Carmen and Tulum need tourism to thrive; the local economies are built to cater to travelers and help create a fantastic destination for a vacation.
That is why it isn’t just current and future visitors that have their fingers crossed for the success of this new construction. The local people, authorities, and businesses are just as eager to see sargassum become a thing of the past.
As the new barriers are installed, everyone is watching and hoping that this is a new dawn in the battle against sargassum.
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