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Quintana Roo has four newly recognized Natural Protected Areas

Riviera Maya, Q.R. — The state of Quintana Roo officially has four new federally recognized Natural Protected Areas. The areas were made official after a published decree by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador on August 15.

The four new areas include Jactino Pat, San Buenaventura, Playa Delfines and Cenote Aerolito. Huguette Hernández Gómez, Secretary of Ecology and Environment, says the new Natural Protected Areas represent a great benefit for the conservation of the ecosystem of the state.

The decrees declaring Jacinto Pat, San Buenaventura and Playa Delfines as protected natural areas are a combined 59 hectares. All three are located within the municipality of Benito Juárez.

Cenote Aerolito is also declared a protected natural area of 10 hectares. Cenote Aerolito is located in the municipality of Cozumel. All four new federally recognized areas were promoted by the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) and through the National Commission of Protected Natural Areas (CONANP) in collaboration with FONATUR.

Hernández Gómez says the area of Jacinto Pat has mangroves that control flooding and erosion, whereas the San Buenaventura wetlands facilitate flood control, protection against hurricanes and are a source of nutrients for neighboring ecosystems.

Playa Delfines, the popular Cancun Hotel Zone beach area, is home to ecosystems such as the sub-evergreen jungle which is considered fragile and highly vulnerable to the effect of the growth of urban sprawl in surrounding areas.

The wetlands of Cenote Aerolito represent transition ecotones between terrestrial and aquatic elements and is a natural barrier against extreme hydrometeorological events such as hurricanes and tropical storms, water storage, pest control, soil retention, food provision and waste purification, among others.

Also, given the environmental conditions of Cenote Aerolito, its interconnectivity and underground water flows with the Caribbean Sea making its ecological and biological processes unique.