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New sargassum collection method allowed PDC to recover 20 tons of sand

Playa del Carmen, Q.R. — One of Playa del Carmen’s main central beaches has been fully recovered. After being shut due to an overwhelming volume of sargassum earlier this year, the public beach is now open.

Mayor Lili Campos reported that not only has the beach been reopened, it has been recovered to pre-sargassum days. Over the last few years, Playa El Recodo in central Playa del Carmen suffered extensive erosion.

The seasonal removal of seaweed only added to the problem since a lot of sand is also collected when sargassum is removed from the beach. Campos said the city set out to recover that beach, making it one of the most beautiful in the municipality.

On Wednesday night, Campos shared before and after photos of Playa El Recodo, explaining that before, the beach barely had a one-meter strip of sand due to erosion, which she said was so bad, an underground spring emerged.

Now, however, the area has around eight meters of sandy beach and the spring is being treated as a wading pool for children, she said.

Campos explained that they were able to recover around 20 tons of sand from the recent sargassum clean that saw the beach closed. She said that in previous years, the sargassum went to the landfill, which she considered irresponsible because of all the sand that went with it.

Instead, the city has designated land where the collected sargassum is laid out to dry. Once dried, the sand is recovered. To date, they have been able to recover 20 tons of local sand, meaning it’s compatible with Mexican Caribbean sand since it is original.

She said of that 20 tons recovered, part went to restore Playa El Recodo and another portion went to Punta Esmeralda.