Cancun, Q.R. – Environmental authorities in Mexico say they will spend approximately $9.1 million cleaning Sargasso from beaches along the Yucatan coastline.
The money will go toward hiring 4,600 temporary workers needed to free the beaches of the massive mounds of seaweed that has continually washed up on its shores since the spring.
They also say part of that money will be used for testing whether the seaweed can be collected in the sea, preventing it from reaching the beaches.
Mexican environmental authorities explain that while machinery can be used to remove the seaweed from some beaches, manual collection is mandatory on protected beaches where sea turtles are nesting. Therefore, these environmentally sensitive beach areas will take longer to clean.
The removal of the Sargasso seaweed will include beaches from Holbox, at the top of the Yucatan Peninsula, to Cancun as well as Isla Mujeres, Playa del Carmen, Cozumel, Akumal, Tulum and Majahual.
Sargasso, or sargassum, is an algae (seaweed) that grows in the Sargasso Sea in the North Atlantic. Since 2011, the seaweed has been breaking free in mass quantities then washing up on shores along the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea.