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CARIBBEAN

Riviera Maya, Cozumel Set to make Beachfronts even better


03/08/2009

To preserve Mexico’s Caribbean coastline, Cancun, the Riviera Maya and Cozumel will have their beachfronts restored to prepare the resorts to receive tourists in time for the winter vacation season. The plan will add sand to an 11-mile stretch of beachfront, helping the area guard against erosion for the next 10 years. In five months, Mexicana de Dragados, the dredging company that presented the winning bid, plans to extract nearly 247 million cubic feet of sand from underwater and use it to widen the beachfront.

When it is finished, Cancun’s beaches will be 44 yards wide, Playa del Carmen’s 33 yards wide and Cozumel’s 22 yards wide. The project is supported by the Quintana Roo State Government and Tourism Secretariat, Mexico’s Environment and Natural Resources Secretariat (SEMARNAT) and Mexico’s Federal Electrical Commission by a 900-million-peso (68-million-dollar) trust with federal, state and municipal (Riviera Maya, Cancun and Cozumel) government funds.

The project meets established environmental protection norms, while SEMARNAT has pledged to make sure environmental measures are respected and the local fauna and environment protected. For this reason as well, sand will only be extracted from certain areas and only between six and seven percent of sandbanks will be touched.

In August, work will begin in the Riviera Maya’s Playa del Carmen, where 2.5 miles of dunes affecting the beachfronts of local hotels and condominiums will be filled in. Similar work in Cancun will extend from Sept. 30 to November. The project will benefit local hotels, residential zones, public beaches, restaurants and shopping centers.

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