Greenpeace activists from New Zealand and Mexico confront the deep sea mining vessel Hidden Gem, commissioned by Canadian miner The Metals Company, as it returned to port from eight weeks of test mining in the Clarion-Clipperton Zone between Mexico and Hawaii, off the coast of Manzanillo, Mexico November 16, 2022. REUTERS/Gustavo Graf/File Photo

Carib - Playa del Carmen To Install New Sargassum Barriers This Month To Keep Beaches Clean

Playa del Carmen has been one of the most proactive municipalities in the Mexican Caribbean when it comes to preventing sargassum from ruining vacations in paradise.

This week, officials announced the city would install new sargassum barriers to further improve cleaning efforts.

With sargassum levels expected to rise significantly this year compared to before, cities across the Mexican Caribbean have invested in new anti-seaweed technologies to ensure their beaches remain spotless.

Here’s the latest on Playa del Carmen’s sargassum measures:

Sargassum barrier in cancun

New Sargassum Barrier To Decrease Seaweed Levels In Playa del Carmen

Playa del Carmen is no stranger to sargassum; each year, the coastal Riviera Maya hotspot is plagued by the macroalgae, which washes up on its coastline in massive quantities.

Preventing sargassum from tarnishing the city’s reputation is a priority for the local government, which has implemented new anti-sargassum measures.

The latest is a sargassum barrier which will be installed later this month. The measure is just one of many Playa del Carmen officials have announced as part of a wider effort to stop sargassum.

Floating barriers, which are placed several hundred meters from the coastline, are one of the most effective methods for controlling sargassum seaweed. They work by physically blocking it from reaching the shore, allowing cleaners on boats to remove excess seaweed, leading to cleaner beaches.

Playa del Carmen’s new sargassum barriers will be installed at the end of the month once seaweed levels are expected to begin increasing.

The barriers will measure around 200 meters in length and will be placed in a strategic location near the downtown beach area.

According to María de Lourdes Várguez Ocampo, head of Playa del Carmen’s environmental department, the sargassum barrier will have several small openings so that boats and ferries can safely navigate from the city’s ports to island destinations like Cozumel.

Environmental experts are currently working on several improvements to make the barriers more effective compared to previous years.

To that end, Playa del Carmen is teaming up with the Mexican Navy, whose expertise and know-how will bring added value in the fight against record sargassum levels.

Massive amount of sargassum seaweed in Playa del Carmen

Last year, Playa del Carmen officials came under fire after the city’s sargassum barrier proved largely ineffective, as openings along the length of the barrier allowed for seaweed to traverse it.

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