Tulum, Q.R. — As the sargasso battle continues, the municipality of Tulum has taken to heavy machinery to deal with the seaweed.
The progress of beach cleaning for many areas of Tulum has been a slow one since the seaweed simply outweighs the number of people they have to remove it.
Gustavo Martínez Holguín, manager of a beach club, commented that the work done in the morning is not enough to keep the beach clean throughout the day because the amount that builds up on the beach is practically the same as what is being removed in the morning.
He says that during the day they do their best to remove the seaweed and pile it up. As the day goes on, the seaweed dries and becomes a smaller mound. They then remove what they can.
“The water is clearer, but it definitely does not have the turquoise color that characterizes the area,” he said.
Although the city continues to manually clean its beaches on a daily basis, machines have been brought in to deal with the excessively covered areas. In Tulum National Park for example, the removal is slow because there just are not enough staff.
Backhoes and dump trucks have been brought in to several coastal areas of Tulum to help with its removal. Workers say there is no place along the coast to bury it, so it has to be completely removed and transported by trucks to dumps where it will serve as compost.
On June 22, the Secretariat of Ecology and Environment activated special brigades in Tulum and other municipalities to manually remove sargasso from the 6,750 linear meters of beach, a tedious job considering the region has recorded excessively hot temperatures this summer.
Environmental authorities say that the seaweed is a problem that’s affecting tourist beaches from Florida to Mexico, adding that it’s a continual problem from South Africa to Brazil to the Caribbean.