Playacar Hotels to Fight Sargassum With Drones, Satellites

Sargassum in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
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Viva Wyndham Resorts and several other hotels in Playacar, Mexico, have adopted a new set of strategies to combat sargassum seaweed, which has posed a problem with unsightly drifts of the plant accumulating on major tourist beaches in the Caribbean and Mexico

Viva Wyndham reports that its Viva Wyndham Azteca and Viva Wyndham Maya resorts, both of which are located in Playacar, have partnered with other area hotels on a new system to combat sargassum, which includes a method of satellite monitoring and the use of drones to make the cleaning operation at sea more efficient and accurate. 

In addition to the satellites and drones, the hotels also plan to install a series of containers to stop the sargassum at sea. They will cover an area of nearly 1.5 square miles. Between this barrier and a fleet of sargasse boats and shark boats to collect the seaweed, the resort chain said that it will be able to “completely eliminate” the algae. 

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The sargassum will be collected, compacted and bagged in huge sacks of one cubic meter, before being taken to a series of discharge points and subsequently to their final destination.

Viva Wyndham and its partner hotels have hired the Collection Service at Sea (MIDP) to oversee the new initiative. The company will also deliver a monthly report with photographs and interpretation of the satellite and drone monitoring in order to aid future decisions regarding the management of the algae. 

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