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Government moves forward with plans to dredge Canal de Zaragoza

Chetumal, Q.R. — La Secretaría de la Marina Armada de México calculates that the funds needed to begin expanding the Zaragoza Canal will be around 200 million peso.

Alicia Ricalde Magaña of the Administración Portuaria Integral anticipates that in 2019, around 200 million peso will be put into play to begin the dredging work.

Commander of the XI Naval Zone, Eduviges Martínez said that in December, the environmental impact report will be delivered regarding the Marine Environment Program that was carried out by the Oceanographic Research Station of Yucatan.

He says according to representative from La Secretaría de la Marina Armada de México, there has not been any animals or mammals such as manatees, in need of relocation prior to dredging, however, he did say that plant species such as black mangrove, buttonwood, red mangrove were found in the dredging area and will be relocated.

“There are many restrictions, such as the relocation of species which will be in the hands of La Secretaría de la Marina Armada de México. The state will give everything that is needed and in the Naval Station, there will be people, about 200 people who must have housing, electricity and a kitchen.

“We are in that first stage and the state must provide the resources in kind that are needed,” explained Ricalde Magaña.

Eduviges Martínez said that once that is complete, dredging will begin which will increase both the width and depth of Canal de Zaragoza. He says that with the announcement of the dredging, other companies have expressed interest in opening commercial routes from Mexico to Central America.

The work, which is being done to reduce transportation time between Chetumal and Xcala, is expected to take between three and five years.

In July, the state government announced an agreement between the Port Administration and the Secretariat of the Navy that would see the expansion of the canal.