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Study reveals Cozumel Chankanaab eco-park with high levels of algae

Cozumel, Q.R. — A new study shows Cozumel reefs in good condition, but with a few centers of concern that officials say, need to be addressed.

The study, which was completed by Greenpeace and UNAM, resulted in a good health report for the reef at Cozumel, but with several algae red centers that need to be addressed.

Christopher González Vaca, director of the marine park Arrecifes de Cozumel says that the latest study revealed an algae concentration at Chankanaab, noting “What is worrying is that it could happen to other reefs or it could become more critical”.

The two organizations performed studies on more than a dozen reefs around the country, explaining that the cause for the extreme algae buildup could be due to multiple causes. These could include dolphinariums, treatment plants, waste water that reaches the cenotes, or the high influx of visitors.

The important thing, said the official, is to identify and eliminate these sources of contamination.

“The proliferation of algae is one of the main causes of impact on the reef and, in the worst case scanario, it results in the death of the reef. This is complicated by climate change, overfishing and visitation,” said González Vaca. “We do not want this to happen. We have discovered it on time”.

The Mesoamerican Reef System in Cozumel includes the Cozumel Reefs Marine Park (PMAC) and the Flora and Fauna Protection Area (APFF). Scientists have detected that the area of Chankanaab has a high level of algae present. It is the most visited site of the island.

Chankanaab is an eco park managed by the Cozumel Parks and Museums Foundation (FPMC). Income is generated by activities such as tourism and visitors from cruise ships.