12 May 2023
In an effort to protect Northern Akumal’s Half Moon Bay from the impact of the overwhelming amounts of sargassum, local environmental groups, and homeowners are collaborating with a team of international scientists and engineers to develop a containment barrier. Installation should be completed by the end of spring 2023, environmentalists and marine biologists will be closely monitoring progress and evaluating the results of this program to ensure the safety of underwater life including the coral reef, fish, and sea turtles.
If Sargassum Is Natural, Why Contain It?
Given the geographic position of Half Moon Bay, this beloved corner of Akumal has been one of the most devastated areas since sargassum blooms have reached record levels over the past 8 years. Sargassum is not new to Riviera Maya, however, the astounding amounts of seaweed that have been gradually increasing since 2015 have not only become a nuisance for tourists but are endangering marine life and the livelihood of local communities.
The mats of sargassum that wash up on shore dwarf the capalities of homeowners to cleanup manually. If left on the beach the seaweed rots, expells harmful fumes, and threatens the lives of turtle hatchlings and other sea creatures. Given the delicate ecosystem of Half Moon Bay, heavy machinery cannot be used on the beach without putting at risk turtle nest. As the sargassum piles up on land it also accumulates in the water obstructing sunlight to nourish fish and fauna that live in the Bay.
How Will The Barrier Work
The barrier is a series of netted bouyies anchored from the north to the sound of the bay. The nets are only a few feet deep (aproximately 4 feet) so life underwater will go about as usual. On the surface, the nets will retain the sargassum allowing currents to push the seaweed away from land and minimizing the amount that washes up on shore. By reducing the amount of sargassum the arrives to the mainland the barrier will make manual cleaning a more managable task. A team of environmentalist EcoProteccion Akumal will be monitoring the barrier and nets to ensure the safety of wildlife.
Learn More & Join The Cause
The Half Moon Bay Sargassum project is a local collaboration among community members, business, and homeowners. Contact our team of local experts for more information about visiting Half Moon Bay this summer or details about the best places to stay in the area.