Executive Summary

The HMB Sargassum Project was started in 2019 by a group of North Akumal neighbors seeking a solution to sargassum infestations that have been plaguing HMB for many years now. 

 

Summary of Problems

 

  • Environment Impact:

    • Local workers harmed by toxic gasses, including hydrogen sulfide and ammonia

    • Turtle nesting down 70% from 2020 - 2021

    • Marine life harmed by rotting sargassum

    • Beach erosion during manual removal process

  • Economic Impact:

    • Cost of removal ($240,000/yr. (average for 2019 - 2021 est.)

    • Restaurants and local businesses threatened, (less jobs for locals)

    • Lost rental income 

    • Less work for locals

 

Proposed Solutions

 

  • Mechanical removal including vehicles, conveyor belts, and pumping/piping

    • Not a viable solution due to restrictions on beach access and limited land/space to dump or spray sargassum

  • Boat removal 

    • Very inefficient collection process, lack of space to dump and treat sargassum and cost prohibitive

  • Manual removal (current solution) 

    • Causes beach erosion

    • Does not actually solve the problem unless community spends $240,000/yr. or more (average for 2019 - 2022 est.)

  • Anchored Barrier (RECOMMENDED SOLUTION)

    • Entire Community Invests $475,00 in purchase & installation

      • $350,000 purchase price (2 BR Cost: $5,000)

      • $90,000/yr. maintenance (2 BR Cost: $1,500/yr. or $125/mo.)

    • Total 5-Year Estimated Cost: $900,000 ($180,000/yr.)

    • Total Estimated 2 BR Condo Cost: $12,500 or $208/mo.)

 

Project Structure

We are pleased to announce that SEMARNAT has approved the proposal to to install a commercially proven and ecologically sound sargassum barrier outside the reef in Half Moon Bay.   The project will be overseen by two separate nonprofits:

 

  • The Yucatan Environmental Fund (YEF) is the US nonprofit charged with collecting tax-deductible donations for our community-based environmental project.
     

    • All donations made via this website go to YEF where they will be held in escrow until the fundraising goal of $475,000 is met.  
       

    • YEF has already garnered pledges for over 80% of the budget for manufacturing and installing the barrier.
       

    • If the fundraising goal is not met, YEF guarantees that all donations, less a fee of 4% for administrative costs already incurred, will be refunded

 

  • Ecoproteccion Akumal (EPA) is the Mexican nonprofit charged with actually contracting onsite project implementation.  The approval from SEMARNAT was issued to EPA.

    • EPA has an agreement in place with YEF to use charitable donations for:
      • the initial installation of the barrier

      • a Contingency Fund of $100,000 to ensure EPA has sufficient revenue to address any UNSEEN environmental impact the barrier might create, especially as regards turtle nesting or excessor accumulations of sargassum outside the barrier

      • administrative fees of up to $25,000

 

  • Once installation is complete and tested, EPA will invoice donors that own property in the High Impact Zone for any expenses related to barrier maintenance.  Current projections are for maintenance expenses of about run about $700/BR annually. (see Projected operating expenses) 

 

We are excited to move forward with this project and get the barrier in place before the sargassum season begins in March of next year. To accomplish this, all of us must ACT QUICKLY to get our donations in to YEF.  We cannot proceed until we’ve raised sufficient funds to cover the entire installation budget, including Contingency Funds.

Visit the Quicklinks page for additional information on the topics above or, better yet......

Donate TODAY!!!