Far from the white sands of Quintana Roo another Mexican beach hotspot has fallen prey to seaweed in the middle of the tourist season, but in this case the quantities were significantly less.
Residents and municipal authorities have cleared as much as 20 tonnes of water lilies from beaches in Sayulita. According to reports, the invasion has also affected other beaches in the area.
Sayulita Clean Beaches spokesman José de Jesús Arreola said that the water lilies come from the nearby San Pancho lagoon, where heavy rains in recent days flooded the banks and washed the plant matter into the ocean and on to Sayulita’s shores.
But he said on Monday he did not expect the water lilies to affect the vacation destination anywhere near the magnitude of the sargassum disaster in the Caribbean. He anticipated that the beaches would be fully cleaned up by Thursday.
“This is nothing like [in Cancún], nothing like sargassum; this is minimal. The beach will soon be restored to optimal conditions for it to be enjoyed [by tourists]; [water lilies] aren’t toxic and they don’t spread disease, so it’s just an aesthetic question. This has happened before during this season, and this time the rains and flooding hit us [with the water lilies].”
Jesús Arreola said the most complicated part of the clean-up effort is manually sifting through the beaches’ sand to eliminate any remaining stems or roots of the plant.
A similar invasion occurred last week in Ixtapa, Guerrero, also due to heavy rain.