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State requests modification to Zaragoza Canal to accommodate cruise ships

Chetumal, Q.R. — The Federal Secretary of Tourism says several agencies are requesting a modification so the Zaragoza Canal could be another state cruise destination.

Miguel Torruco Marqués, Federal Secretario de Turismo says he and the Government of the State of Quintana Roo will request from the Secretary of the Navy of Mexico the modification of the Environmental Impact Statement of the dredging of the Zaragoza Canal to make it an arrival destination for tourist boats.

During a virtual meeting with tourist businessmen from Chetumal and Bacalar, Torruco Marqués explained that the actions they are carrying out today are to deal with the abandonment of the southern part of the state for the past several years by federal and state administrations.

He says the proposal to modify the canal dredging project is new, adding that the state government would like to expand its depth from three to six meters.

“The manifestation of environmental impact is to increase the depth of the canal to six meters, which would allow the entry of small cruise ships and the construction of a Zaragoza marina to open the potential for tourist activity,” adding that “the modification request is in the process of being presented to the Secretary of the Navy.”

The work, added Torruco Marqués, should be completed in mid-2022, despite delays presented due to the COVID-19 pandemic and technical complications they’ve experienced such as solidification of the canal sediments.

The rear admiral and deputy general director of Works and Dredging of the Secretary of the Navy Ángel Melo Moya, indicated that the project is only 10 percent complete and that they are in the best position now to meet the new request.