PLAYA DEL CARMEN, Q.Roo – An underwater museum could soon be in the works for Playa del Carmen.
The proposal for Caribbean Sea, a massive underwater museum, has been put forward by the Ministry of the Environment and Resources (Secretaría de Medio Ambiental y Recursos Naturales – Semarnat).
The proposed location for the project would see the underwater museum begin 600 meters off Mamitas Beach and extend more than one kilometer seaward. In all, the Caribbean Sea project would consist of 19 sections or galleries of 50 structures each that would eventually consist of 940 structures and cover an area of over 3,000 square meters. They will range in depth from 11 meters to 35 meters. Total cost for the project is estimated at $6.5 million USD.
The project is being petitioned by THETYS, S.A. de C.V., which is expected to apply for permits to begin work. According to their environmental impact statement, the company says adding an underwater museum will allow for additional diving and snorkeling activities in an enclosed marine environment saying, “it will be even more accessible to practice water sports such as diving and snorkeling, so that (…) can be increased considerably, bringing substantial economic benefits to the city.”
Their statement also says, “The placement of the sculptures in the Museum of the Caribbean Sea will promote the recovery of natural reefs by relieving the pressure on them to offer visitors an alternative site at the same distance and being even closer to some of the other existing reef formations.”
If approved, the Caribbean Sea underwater museum would be constructed over a six-year period, each year adding three new sections so that every 12 months, visitors would have new features to see. Proposed themes would include Pirates of the Caribbean, coral gardens and sculptures of Mexico among others.
Currently, Cancun has the only underwater museum in the area, MUSA, with nearly 500 life-sized structures in three different galleries. The museum is located at the Cancun-Isla Mujeres Marine Park.
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