Playa Del Carmen Beach Erosion Hits Hard
Beach erosion in Playa Del Carmen is always a topic since the shore line is always changing naturally. Beaches change with the season and storms. Some storms change the current and push the ocean more aggressively toward the beach in Playa Del Carmen. Lately though we have seen some of the worst beach erosion in Playa Del Carmen. The photos below will show you what the current condition of the beaches are.
“We are going to have to soon change the name to Del Carmen because the “playa” has practically disappeared.”
The bad beach erosion is a second hit to the beaches in Playa Del Carmen. If you remember back in late 2014 and 2015 there was a massive amount of seaweed that washed ashore. This made many of the beaches unsuitable for swimming and it caused an unknown amount of damage to the tourism industry as people canceled trips to the area. This also had an impact in 2016 as some people still considered other areas for vacation as the image of beautiful beaches was tarnished by the natural phenomena.
Tourism impact and the quality of the beaches in Playa Del Carmen
The beach is the single most important aspect of Playa Del Carmen for tourism. It is the number one reason why people come to Playa and people expect there actually to be a beach. Without a good beach tourist will soon be migrating north and south of Playa Del Carmen to other towns or even to other destinations in the Caribbean. This is what happened because of the seaweed problem of 2014-2015. An unknown amount of damage to the tourism industry was caused because people canceled trips to the area. This also had an impact in 2016 as some people still considered other areas for vacation as the image of beautiful beaches was tarnished by the natural phenomena.
Locally the impact of beach erosion in Playa Del Carmen hits hard at beachfront restaurants, beach clubs, and hotels that promise that stay in paradise by the beach. This also filters into the whole economy of Playa Del Carmen as a slow done in business takes on a ripple effect.
Where is the worst beach erosion taking place?
There are two main areas of beach where the erosion is the worst. The first area is from 4th Street to Constituyentes Avenue and from about 42nd Street to about 48th Street. The map below highlights these areas.
Map of the erosion taking place in Playa Del Carmen
Photos of the beach erosion in Playa Del Carmen
Here are some shocking phots of how much of the beach in Playa Del Camren is gone! These photos we taken by us on January 10th, 2017. We will keep you up-to-date on the situation. In the short term we think things will get somewhat better but in the long term we hope a more overall fix will be in place to restore the beaches of Playa Del Carmen.
We will start with photos on the south end and work up the beach to show you the photos.
The beach near 4th Street is so bad that they had to put sand bags around the palm trees to protect them from falling over.
The poor palm trees have hard the roots exposed by the crashing waves.
A father and son try to navigate the rocky beach since all the sand is gone. This photo is looking north from near 4th Street.
Looking north from about half way between 4th Street and 6th Street you can see the rocky shores of Playa Del Carmen. Most of the beach from 4th Street to 10th Street is rocky now.
What used to be covered by sand is now exposed rock. This is just north of 6th Street by the old Fusion Bar. So much for running into the ocean for a swim. As you see, no one is in the water swimming here.
A narrow beach indeed! This is just by the lighthouse in the middle of Playa Del Carmen. Zenzi Beach Club is just ahead where chairs and people walking fight for the remaining space on the beach.
In front of 12th Street they have resorted to adding rocks to protect the remaining palm trees and their buildings from getting washed under.
Coco Maya has almost no beach now and looking north, Indigo Beach Club is suffering a lot of loss of beach.
Has the water really taken away this much beach? Well the whole story with this pier is, it was built but not maintained. The first section has already fallen off, but that only accounts for about 15 feet (3 meters). The rest of the beach is all gone here which is near 16th Street. So you can imagine what this area looked like before when the beach reached the pier.
The Gran Porto Hotel has been fighting for a long time to save this beach. There are both visible smaller white sand bags imbedded in the beach and also larger black bags that were places to slow the water.
On the north end of Playa Del Carmen near 48th Street, you can find the Canibal Royal. The beach has been all washed away and men work on installing large black bags to prevent beach erosion. You can also see in the foreground one palm tree that succumb to the waves.
What is your opinion? What is the best way to protect the beach and the environment? How should this be done to protect the beaches of Playa Del Carmen? Let us know in the comments below.