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Sargassum Alert Level Elevated For The First Time This Year For Cancun & Mexican Caribbean Beaches

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Officials in the Mexican Caribbean have increased the sargassum alert level for the very first time this year.

The alert level was raised from level one to level two in the beach resort vacation getaway to warn travelers that their fun in the sun, sand, and surf in the Mexican Caribbean will soon be impacted by a large amount of sargassum, or seaweed, headed to the coast.

Sargassum Alert Level 2

Cancun Hiring More Staff To Fight Sargassum Invasion This Year

So far this year, visitors to the Mexican Caribbean have been able to enjoy beaches with little to no sargassum in the way to affect their day on the coastline.

But all of that is about to change.

This is the first time the warning level for sargassum has been elevated for caution tourists of poor sea and beach conditions since the end of last year.

Playa Delfines in Cancun, Mexico Covered in Sargassum and Filled With Tourists

Officials are tracking 120 tons of the smelly and yellow-brown microalgae which will impact the center coast of Quintana Roo as early as today.

It has actually been a lower-than-average sargassum impact year, to the delight of vacation travelers as well as local officials who have to pay workers to remove and dispose of the microalgae.

In fact, many of the popular tourist beaches have been nearly sargassum free for travelers during the recent peak spring holiday travel season.

Tourists on a Beautiful Beach in Tulum, Mexico

Where it Will Impact

According to reports from the Mexican Navy Secretariat, a large patch of 120 tons of sargassum is heading directly to the tourism hotspots of Playa del Carmen, Tulum and Cozumel.

The Oceanographic Institute of the Gulf and Caribbean Sea, which is part of the Mexican Navy, said the first part of the large patch has already started to wash up on the shores from Punta Herrero to Playa del Carmen.

Sargassum cleaning vehicle in Playa Forum, Cancun

However, this initial impact is only about a third of the total sargassum currently headed towards the area.

Officials Prepared for Removal

Officials with the Mexican Navy Secretariat as well as state and municipal leaders have workers on standby to continue the removal process as the sargassum main impact hits the shores of the area.

Worker Cleaning Up Sargassum From the Beach

They have called up not only teams of workers but also heavy equipment to pick up the sargassum and remove it to a central area.

The sargassum has to be removed quickly from the beaches. Not only is it unsightly, but it also smells bad as it sits in the hot sun. It also poses a heath danger as travelers can slip and even become entangled in the microalgae.

What Travelers Need to Know

mexican worker seaweed sargassum beach

Normally, other than the smell and spoiled view of the beautiful Mexican Caribbean sand beaches, sargassum does not really pose any heath risk to visitors from touching the microalgae.

In fact, many cultures around the world, especially in Asia, consume seaweed as part of their natural diet.

It actually has a nutritional value, although travelers are not advised to taste or eat the sargassum on the beaches or in the water of the Mexican Caribbean.

Minimal Amounts of Sargassum on a Beach in Playa del Carmen, Mexico

While the arrival of sargassum patches can be negative for the tourist experience in the Mexican Caribbean, it is something that can’t be changed and simply needs to be taken care of in a timely fashion by beach officials.

Travelers are recommended to observe the beach flag color and consult with local lifeguards as to the beach safety conditions when sargassum is present in the water and on the shore.

They can also check levels of sargassum on local webcams which recently have been deployed to monitor the situation.

While sargassum may not make the beach as pretty and clean on a vacation getaway, tourists should rest assured that beach officials are working proactively to make sure travelers have the best experience on the sun, sand and surf of the Mexican Caribbean.

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