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Cozumel adds to cenote registry for future island development

Cozumel, Q.R. — Authorities have added to the registry of Cozumel’s urban cenotes to harmonize island development with the environment.

Mayor Juanita Alonso Marrufo says the program is being handled by Deputy Director of Ecology, Germán Yánez Mendoza. Yánez Mendoza says the registration, which has been ongoing during the recent administration, is to be able to obtain data that serves in development decision-making.

He says those decisions are aligned with the New Agreement for the Well-being and Development of Quintana Roo which seeks to harmonize the development of the island with the environment.

He says in the urban area exploratory work has been done that included the sampling of Stygobian fauna in 900 meters of labyrinths, a group of aquatic species that exclusively inhabits the anchihaline and cartography systems in a new cave in the Colonia Adolfo López Mateos.

The Deputy Director explained that a dive was carried out at a depth of 25 meters in order to observe what fauna lives in the caves beneath the urban area.

Yáñez Mendoza explained that the species identification work consisted of recording everything that was seen during the underwater journey physically and videographically.

“In the exploration using compasses and a Nemo-type device, they took distance and course measurements during navigation in order to generate a map of the cave,” he said.

Dr. Fernando Calderón participated in the exploration on a voluntary basis, as well as the team of explorers led by Mike Young, manufacturer of KISS Rebreathers, and the staff of the Ecology subdirectorate.

The dives were recorded from January 29 to February 2 in which eight speleologists from Mexico and the United States participated.

An unknown cave was found under a house in residential Adolfo López.
Photo: H. Ayuntamiento de Cozumel February 2, 2024.

“There are still significant colonies of these stygobian crustaceans. In addition, topographic work was done to be able to construct a detailed map of the site and finally an unknown cave which was located under a house in the Adolfo López colony, was explored,” he explained.

He said that this information helps the city know the quality of the island’s underground environments in addition to its vulnerable areas.

Residents such as those of the Adolfo López Mateos neighborhood benefit from the project since it helps determine environmentally and structurally vulnerable areas.