From the start, the HMB Sargassum Project was conceived as a two phase project. As detailed here, barrier maintenance constitutes the second phase of the project and is being managed by EcoProteccion Akumal (EPA), a Mexican non-profit set up for this sole purpose.
Barrier installation began on May 1, 2023 and, after about a month of installation adjustments, EPA transitioned from Phase One Installation activities to Phase Two Operations & Maintenance. On July 1, 2023, EPA began invoicing properties along the High Impact Zone of the Half Moon Bay Beach for their ongoing, seasonal services.
EPA's Projected Operating Costs come to about $90,000 per year and include these main activities:
- Monitoring barrier infrastructure using
- daily over head drone flights
- reconnaissance from boats, and
- weekly dive teams equipped with Go Pros.
- Reporting of data on sargassum deflection, leakage and breaching (Click here to see photos)
- Configuration adjustments with winches & pulleys
- In-situ equipment repair or replacement
- Removal and replacement of parts that require repair on land
- Partial release of moorings to accommodate rough weather conditions
- Total removal of mesh-netting and buoys when weather forecasts
predict Category 3 (or greater) hurricane force winds on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale.
These operating expenses cannot be paid with tax-deductible contributions collected in the US but, instead, are being invoiced by EPA to the properties and businesses that benefit directly from the sargassum mitigation provided by the barrier. The average cost per affected property in the High Impact Zone (HIZ) comes to about $300/month, significantly less than the ongoing cost of manually removing accumulated sargassum from the beach.
About EcoProteccion Akumal (EPA)
EPA was constituted as a non-profit civil association in the state of Quintana Roo, MX on December 1, 2022. This non-profit status means EPA is not required to assess sales tax (or "I.V.A.") on invoices. EPA does not yet, however, have standing to solicit charitable contributions that tax payers may deduct from income taxes.
The officers and staff of EPA are listed below and can all be reached via email at <email@example.com>.
President, Alex Malison Vice President, Marieke Brown Treasurer, Peter Swenson
<firstname.lastname@example.org> <email@example.com> <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Project Manager, Ivan Penie Equipment Manager, Carlos Navarro Administrator, Lisa Wilson
<ecoproteccionAkumal@gmail.com> <email@example.com> <firstname.lastname@example.org>