Puerto Morelos, Q.R. — A civil group led by Greenpeace and the Mexican Center for Environmental Law (Cemda) are asking officials from the Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat) to withdraw a breakwater project that will see artificial reef structures placed in the National Reef Park of Puerto Morelos.
Members of the group say that these artificial structures, which consist of 324 large concrete blocks, will have a negative impact on the ecosystem. Breakwaters are structures constructed on coasts as part of coastal defense from the effects of both weather and longshore drift. A 250 meter long breakwater is planned for placement into the sea at Parque Nacional Arrecife Puerto Morelos.
The group opposing the breakwater say that the reef at Puerto Morelos is at risk because the project does not comply with the requirements as indicated by law for approval, and that it will have a negative impact on the local ecosystem.
The concern rises from the fact that the placement project was approved by Semarnat and the Regional Directorate for the Yucatan Peninsula and the Mexican Caribbean back in 2009. Opposition says that an amendment was made to the original project to include the National Park at Puerto Morelos, but was done without requiring a new environmental impact statement to the approved 2009 project.
The original project included Isla Mujeres, Punta Cancun, Punta Nizuc and Isla Contoy. The topic has become part of the upcoming Convention on Biological Diversity being held in Cancun from December 4 to 17.