Mexican Navy Looking for Funding in Fight Against Sargassum

The Mexican Navy has asked the country’s Ministry of Finance for $4.2 million in funding to fight against the arrival of sargassum on Caribbean coast beaches.

According to Mexico News Daily, the Navy would use the money to purchase five seaweed-gathering vessels, material for two additional ships, sargassum containment barriers and beach sweepers.

Naval officials said the investment would allow popular destinations in Quintana Roo and beyond to promote clean beaches and entice travelers back after the coronavirus outbreak decimated the travel industry.

While Quintana Roo is still considered a maximum risk state by the federal government, tourism officials hope to begin welcoming guests back to the region as soon as next week and have launched a new promotional campaign to attract visitors.

Preliminary data suggests Cancun alone already lost around $1 billion in tourism revenue due to the viral pandemic. Before coronavirus, one of the region’s biggest concerns for the summer was the arrival of the smelly seaweed.

If the current $4.2 million proposal doesn’t work, the Navy said the alternative is to hire a private company that specializes in the removal of the sargassum. Even then, tractors and sweepers would still need to be purchased for the seaweed that washes ashore.

Thankfully, experts believe the 2020 sargassum invasion will be smaller than those seen over the last two years.

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