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Workers ahead of the game as sargasso slowly returns

Playa del Carmen, Q.R. — City officials work to ensure the slowly returning sargasso along beaches is kept under control this year, as the seagrass makes its way toward shores.

Although officials say the sargasso has worsened during February, it is still light compared to previous years where workers were knee-deep in the algae. So far this year, the grass, while making an appearance, has been much more manageable than in past seasons.

The Directorate of the Federal Maritime Terrestrial Zone (ZOFEMAT) held the second sargasso cleaning session of the year with more than 50 municipal government personnel tending to the removal of the seagrass.

Zofemat’s Hugo Uribe Nicolás explained that with the help of small machinery, already in February, the group has removed more than 80 tons of the seaweed that had already settled along Playa del Carmen beaches. In January, the city took away 77 tons of sargasso along local beach areas.

“We have had the support of civil society, staff of the General Directorate of Municipal Public Services, administrative and operational workers of the ZOFEMAT, as well as the concessionaires of the coastal zone,” he said. “However, many more hands are required to remove sargasso from the beaches, which is why citizens are invited to participate.”

Seagrass removal has become a daily task for municipal workers who are out on the beaches from 5:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. combating the return of the algae.