It’s surely happened that you’re dreaming of jumping in the turquoise waters of the Riviera Maya, and when you finally have the opportunity to do so… WTF? Why does it seem like all the algae in the world is in the beaches of Playa del Carmen?

Let’s understand the situation, just like it is:

That algae that we see from several months back in our beautiful beaches is known as “Gulfweed” and it comes from a region known as “The Sargasso Sea”, which is a concentration of algae of millions of square kilometers located in the Atlantic Ocean, close to the Yucatan Peninsula.

The ocean currents release enormous amounts of algae toward the Caribbean. Due to the climate change caused by global warming, the phenomenon has gone up in intensity and duration, provoking the accumulation of algae daily on the beaches, same that gives an ugly aspect and not to mention the terrible odor it releases after it decomposes. Of course, locals and tourists are shunned after just wanting to enjoy the beaches but then encounter this phenomenon.

Sargazo en Playa del Carmen - Viva Playa

What to do in Playa del Carmen to fight this problem?

The only thing to do with the gulfweed is gather it and bury it in the sand. In a matter of two months, it will have deteriorated in the same sand, preserving the beaches. The problem is that the gulfweed doesn’t come alone, but accompanied by thousands of pieces of plastic, same which will later become a part of the ecosystem and the sea creatures will feed off of it, so they’ll even be in your soup or in your shrimp cocktail for your hangover. Gross!

More of aesthetic than for ecological purposes, the government has permanent programs for cleaning up with machinery and crews, but nature’s force prevents that these jobs be effective or of a long duration. Also, they give the hotel and resort beaches preference.

Sargazo en Playa del Carmen

Can this be avoided?

We can’t compete with nature but rather learn to adapt to it and “help” it get into balance. Global warming is a sad truth caused by ourselves, so in order to coexist with the planet we need to take care of it in the most basic way: recycling, reutilizing. With luck, the planet will feel that we don’t want to abuse it and will begin to balance itself out.

So what can we do to fight it?

Don’t throw trash of any kind on the beach or in the ocean; always carry a plastic bag with you.

If you’re at the beach and you don’t get grossed out (don’t be stuck up, nothing will happen to you if you touch it), gather up a pile by the area where you plan to stay, this will help the special crews’ job in some way.

Speak up. If you are one to visit the public beaches regularly, you will have noticed that the cleanup crews haven’t been there in days- There could be several reasons, but the more we pressure, the more the issue will be of more importance. Use your social media and demand a bigger effort (you have the right because you are paying them).

What other measures do you have to take care of and preserve our beaches?

What uses do you think the gulfweed could have?

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