Why is sargassum affecting Cancun beaches?
It has increased in volume on the Quintana Roo coast and can erode beaches, as well as destroy reefs.
Mexican authorities have been dealing with the issue of Sargassum for the last six years. Coloured dark green, it’s a macroalgae moved by ocean currents and is an indicator of pollution.
It was in August 2018 in Cancun that the Quintana Roo government installed a containment boom system. This is to prevent Sargassum from reaching Cancun beaches. They were placed along 27km of the state coast from Cancun.
If Governor Carlos Joaquin’s comments are anything to go by, they appear to be working.
“The blue of our sea is back. Tourists who choose Quintana Roo to vacation this holiday season enjoy Sargassum-free coasts since there is no sargassum every day, nor on every beach.”
People of Cancun give helping hand
But it’s not just the containment barriers that have made a difference to beaches in Cancun. The gods of nature have delivered good weather conditions and marine currents in Rivera Maya. Local people also helped to clean up the beaches.
Positive daily reports from the Sargasso Monitoring Network of Cancun claim that many Quintana Roo beaches have been cleaned of sargassum. Others are reportedly making excellent progress.
Sargassum-free Cancun beaches include:
More work to do
The issue of sargassum is hugely important to the Cancun tourist economy and there is still plenty to be done. It’s being blamed on man-made climate change. And Cancun hotels have even used nets to try and hold the sargassum back, so it doesn’t reach the beaches.
However, it’s often difficult to evaluate the situation as sargassum conditions change very quickly. Monthly reports are being submitted by authorities, with the Mexican Navy working alongside the Sargassum Monitoring Network.
Cancun Beaches a Paradise for Holidaymakers
Average temperatures are still incredibly warm, with highs of around 33°C (91F).
Cancun beaches have a wonderful reputation, including the likes of Playa Delfines, Xcacel Beach, Playa Marlin and Playa Langosta.