Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts reports that it has achieved a 95 percent reduction in sargassum seaweed on the beaches of its properties in Mexico thanks to a new Comprehensive Coastal Management Plan.
The plan is the result of a collaboration signed earlier this year with a maritime services company. A team of marine biologists, oceanographers, engineers and divers put in place a non-invasive barrier system to contain, accumulate and redirect the seaweed, while still respecting local marine flora and fauna. Bahia says it also consulted with several engineering companies, government agencies and relevant government ministries to ensure that the measures respect the local environment. Eco-Bahia, Bahia Principe’s ecological foundation will evaluate the effectiveness of these measures, the company said.
Bahia Principe has also implemented new sustainability measures at its properties in Jamaica and the Dominican Republic aimed at reducing beach erosion, preserving dune systems and their vegetation and managing the infrastructure in the coastal environment, including waste systems. The new programs also aim to protect the aquatic system and its flora and fauna, preserve water quality, promote sustainable fishing measure, and raise awareness and educate communities close to the sea, the company said.
The move is the latest measure resorts and destinations are taking to combat sargassum, a seaweed that has begun to accumulate in drifts up to six feet high in some destinations, blocking access to the beach.
Earlier this year the Desire Riviera Maya Resort built its own barrier to contain and redirect the seaweed so that it can be removed to a government collection center in Puerto Morelos. In the Caribbean, Jamaica has partnered with MIT to research the issue.