Friday, January 29, 2016

Mangrove Grove

Floating down the river among the mangrove trees.
Floating down the river at Xel Ha...

During our day at the eco-park of Xel Ha, we leisurely floated down a river on tubes lined with mangrove trees on either side (the river, not the tubes).

Mangrove trees are unique in that they are able to grow in salt water. The rapid growth of the tourist sector in the area has meant that vast stretches of mangrove trees have been removed to make way for resort hotels. The effect of this on the local ecology is unknown. There have been suggestions that it may have contributed to the huge masses of brown seaweed that washed up daily on the local beaches last year. As it rots it produces this pungent, vaguely sewage-like smell. It's a problem for an area that hopes to continue growing its tourist trade.

During our fall stay in Playa del Carmen, we witnessed teams of labourers sent out each morning from the hotels to clean up the beach areas in front of them. Their job was to dig deep holes in the beach sand into which the seaweed was buried and covered over.

At Carmen del Playa, labourers bury the daily mounds of seaweed.
Labourers bury the daily mounds of smelly seaweed...

No comments:

Post a Comment