The Cancun Beach scene is on the front burner right now and not for the reasons one may expect, not Spring Break, not quiet Caribbean breezes at night during beach walks and not because another tropical storm has reaped havoc on the fragile Cancun coast but rather, in a word, restoration. The Cancun Beach Restoration Project for 2009 is going out to bids both national and foreign, with results anticipated in approximately fifteen days before a review period and the awarding of the contract(s). The financing for the project has been put forward, signed off on and approved, in a multiple tiered government level, from the federal level down to the individual municipalities involved, and bank loans have been granted based on, what else, future taxation.
The project is said to include 11.1 miles of beach in Cancun’s southern Hotel Zone, almost 3 miles of beach in Playa Del Carmen, 1.5 miles on Isla Cozumel in multiple areas, and if previous reports are correct PlayaNorte, Isla Mujeres. The sand is to be pulled from two outer banks, underwater, off shore, North of the island of Cozumel. The project will include funds for future beach replenishment over a ten year period in case of continued and expected erosion due to tropical storms and will require the removal of previous man made barriers and breakwaters. The sand pumped onto the Cancun beaches will be approximately three times the amount of sand that was applied in the previous replenishment project a few years back.
It’s expected the restoration plus process will take up to 151 days to complete for all destinations mentioned and minimal disturbance is expected to beach fronting hotels and only in short increments when occurring so that there will be limited annoyance to vacationers. The sand replenishment process will take place barring delays between late May and the end of August in Cancun. It is also expected that there may be some man made jetty’s or breakwaters added strategically though the placement and extent is not in the public venue at this time. The texture of the sand has also been mandated in the contract and should be expected to be fine material that most will find comfortable.
We should note that a citizen’s group on Cozumel is protesting under environmental concerns the removal of the sand at the two outer banks off Cozumel at present.
In any case, the approximately $75-80,000,000, ten year, project is a much needed shot in the arm for Cancun’s southern beaches from Punta Nizuc to Punta Cancun (Club Med to Dreams Cancun), many of which were damaged over the last few years in storm surges and via natural erosion. Cancun has been taking heavy negative publicity especially from competing destinations in the Caribbean for its beaches or lack thereof.
Now, we shall wait and see, after-all this is still Mexico and home of the Mexican minute, hour, day, week, etc. and like all government projects everywhere across the globe, getting something done on time and within budget is usually a long shot.
But for now, there’s joy in the land of the tourists and the economic engine for over a half a million working Cancunense who rely heavily on the tourist industry for economic income to support their families. Personally, I never thought I’d see the beaches have the look of the period before Hurricane Gilberto in 1988 again and here we are, the possible dawn of a new beach era in Cancun.
With a beachfront, 20 plus years in the waiting, absolutely terrific news on the Cancun scene.
My lover stands on golden sands, and watch’s the ships that go sailin’…