Sargassum which is a brown type of seaweed will arrive on the coasts of Quintana Roo in the next 15 days with low density reported the Sargassum Technical Advisory Council of Quintana Roo.
The council is made up of scientists and specialists that advise the the three levels of government on forecasts, management and collection of the seaweed.
Every year, the Sargassum season continues to be a battle for the state of Quintana Roo as climate change has been reported as the main cause of the increase in the brown seaweed that invades beaches in Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean. Tourists have reported that the seaweed is smelly and unsightly which has caused state officials to spend millions of dollars every year cleaning beaches daily.
From barriers out in the sea to stop the seaweed from reaching the shore to tractors going up and down the beach every morning collecting the sargassum, it’s a constant battle to keep the beaches clean. The seaweed isn’t isolated to Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean. It stretches across the entire Caribbean invading beaches in other countries including the popular tourism hotspots of the Dominican Republic and Cuba.
Right now, Cancun and Quintana Roo officials are concerned over a 44 square km patch of seaweed floating off the coast of Africa that will inevitably make its way to the Caribbean.
According to Nasa, 5.1 million metric tons of Sargassum has accumulated in a large patch and some will inevitably make its way towards Cancun in the months of June, July and August when the state of Quintana Roo says the seaweed season it at its worst.
Quintana Roo is aggressive in keeping its beaches pristine and has heavily invested in preventative and cleaning measures.
During the 2020 Sargassum season, June, July, and August were the months with the largest collection of sargassum in the municipalities of Tulum, Playa del Carmen, Cancun.
In June, a total of 4,082 tons were collected, while in July 5,294 and August 2,168 tons of the brown seaweed were removed from the Beaches of Quintana Roo.
In Playa Del Carmen, the installation of barriers will prevent a majority of sargassum from reaching shores. City Hall says the complete installation will take 10 days adding that currently, 1.3 out of 2.5 kilometers of the barrier has been attached to the seabed with stainless steel barracuda anchors.
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