Playa del Carmen, Q.R. – Beaches in most parts of the municipality of Solidaridad are affected once again by the vast amounts of Sargasso that continues to wash up along Playa del Carmen shores.
This is the third consecutive year where many of the beaches in and around Playa del Carmen have become covered by vast amounts of the unwanted sea grass. The grass is not only unsightly, but also generates an unpleasant smell.
Approximately 80 people have begun the laborious task of manually removing the Sargasso from the 12 kms of beach area around Solidaridad. Small machines have been brought onto some of the more heavily affected beach areas where operators load dump trucks to haul away the grass.
Hugo Uribe Nicolás, Zoefmat head, says workers begin at 4:00 a.m. and will continue to clear the Sargasso as long as it continues to fill affected areas. He says, “At the moment we are working approximately 80 volunteers and we extended the cleaning schedule from four in the morning to respond to this situation.”
He points out that the arrival of the marine vegetation is a natural process and not a pollution problem and called on the concessionaries of the Federal Zone to comply with regulations by keeping the areas clean.
“The work is being carried out at points such as El Recodo, Punta Esmeralda and the beach area between streets 4 and 8, 14 and 16, as well as 72 and 88 where there has been a greater presence of this plant material,” he added.
In April, the general management staff of Zofemat, in coordination with Municipal Public Services and organized civil society volunteers, withdrew more than 418 tons of sargazo and 513 tons of solid waste.
The annual Sargasso problem is also affecting many Cancun beaches, while city officials do their best to remove the grass and keep beaches clear.