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Kankanán, the Riviera Maya’s new artificial reef

 Cancun, Q.R. — The Riviera Maya’s artificial reef that began construction in October 2013, is nearing its completion date of December 2015.

The massive reef, which spans 1.9 kilometers in length, is located at El Dorado Royale and Spa in Punta Brava, Puerto Morelos. The reef was created to protect the resort against waves and storms as well as create a natural beach.

Kankanán, the name given to the reef, will also support marine life by creating an artificial habitat that will produce 22,000 metric tons of marine biomass such as coral, fish and invertebrates each year, which will also create a tourist attraction.

Manuel Alfonso Jesús Barrero Gutierrez, who is the architect in charge of the project, said, “We want to give back to the sea and this is a way of being kind to the ecosystem.”

Large pyramid-shaped piles 2.75 meters tall constitute the reef, which has been installed 40 meters from the beach. Each of the 1,000 piles is hollow, allowing a safe-haven for marine life. The massive reef is constructed from special marine micro-silica-based material that is environmentally friendly.

The Environmental Impact Statement, which was authorized by the Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat), says that the large artificial reef will be an ongoing project due to the natural challenging limitations of the Caribbean Sea. International organizations recognize the region has unpredictable hurricanes, unstable terrain and versatile weather, however, the artificial reef will be able to generate a coral community with a variety of species of flora and fauna.

Kankanán, which is being named the world’s largest artificial reef, was an investment of $2 million.

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