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Playa del Carmen recovers six beaches with nearly 3,000 tons of sand through sargassum sifting

Playa del Carmen, Q.R. — The Solidaridad government reports more than 26,000 tons of collected sargassum and 2,900 tons of recovered sand. The figures were provided for a majority of the 2023 calendar year.

Solidaridad Mayor Lili Campos says through the Directorate of the Federal Maritime Terrestrial Zonefrom January to the first week of December of 2023, personnel collected more than 26,340 tons of sargassum and recovered more than 2,910 tons of sand that was (reused) to recover six eroded beaches.

The Secretary of Sustainable Environment, Climate Change and Zofemat, Lourdes Várguez, stated that thanks to comprehensive work, with the extraction of thousands of tons of sargassum from the beaches, transfer and subsequent recovery of sand, several municipal beaches were recovered.

Secretary of Sustainable Environment, Climate Change and Zofemat, Lourdes Várguez. Photo: Ayuntamiento de Solidaridad 2024.

She said the reused-recovered sand was placed at Playa El Recodo, Playa Caribe, Playa de la Calle 8, Playa de la Calle 10, Playa de la Calle 14 and Punta Esmeralda, all busy Playa del Carmen beaches.

Playa El Recodo in central Playa del Carmen was one of six beaches recovered with the sand. Photo: Ayuntamiento de Solidaridad 2024.

She said to recover the sand in the sargassum, the seaweed was moved to land to the west of the city. After drying and natural dehydration, different sand recovery and cleaning techniques were carried out such as sifting through bands and grids, among other procedures.

Sargassum sifting starts at the beach before it is trucked away. Photo: Ayuntamiento de Solidaridad 2024.

She added that the sand recovery process is long, but once the sand is clean, depending on the weather conditions, it is determined when is the best time to be dumped on beaches with certain degrees of erosion to ensure the adequate maintenance of beach widths.

The sargassum is deposited on a piece of land for cleaning and sifting and not trucked to a landfill. Photo: Ayuntamiento de Solidaridad 2024.

She said that in 2022, the new public administration led by Lili Campos implemented monitoring of the treatment of sargassum and stopped depositing it in the landfill. Instead, it is transferred to a site where it is comprehensively managed to recover the sand that it carries when it is removed from the beaches.