Mérida, Yucatán.- Over-densification in coastal areas, the large volumes of wastewater discharged into the sea, the lack of more demanding environmental care laws, the need for greater citizen co-responsibility for wetlands, and climatological effects pose serious risks for the conservation and balance of the peninsula’s drainage basin.
Researcher José Adán Caballero Vázquez, head of the Academic Unit of Water Sciences (UCIA) of the Center for Scientific Research of Yucatán (CICY) emphasized that there are very important factors that affect the balance of the largest freshwater reserve on the planet, which is located in the Yucatán Peninsula.
The professor gave the conference “Science for the conservation of the Yucatan Peninsula Basin”, where the biologist explained a series of conditions that are seriously affecting the conditions of wetlands, estuaries, cenotes, and marshes in the coastal zone of the three states of Campeche, Yucatan, and Quintana Roo.
Situations such as the lack of drainage in cities like Campeche, 14 ports in Yucatan, and population centers like Holbox, Isla Mujeres, Cancun, and the Playa del Carmen-Tulum corridor, are seriously affecting coastal areas with large volumes of waste, practically ” we now bathe in poop”.
Although studies and water sampling have been carried out in the cenotes, the data is insufficient to establish decisive actions for the conservation of caves, caverns, and aquifers and to avoid further damage and contamination. The water catchment area of the peninsular zone covers an area of 165,000 kilometers in the center of the peninsula and southern zone, making it the largest freshwater reserve on the planet.
A Wetlands Atlas is being developed to establish with scientific data the health of the Yucatecan wetlands since their conservation and preservation are vital for the population zones to survive. It has been observed that the slightest change in the salinity of the marshes and estuaries causes serious damage, in addition to the presence of invasive species that prey on fish, birds, reptiles that inhabit these ecosystems.
The professor called on society to establish greater responsibility and commitment to the tasks of protecting our environment, to control measures in the use of water, and the preservation of these natural areas that are a source of life for the development and survival of human beings.
“The municipal, state and federal governments must work immediately in the construction of a greater number of sewage plants since it is necessary to put an end to the dumping of sewage into the sea,” he stressed.
The federal government does not have the resources to attend to this condition and the problem grows with the development of unplanned housing centers, changes in land use that deforest, and irregular population settlements.
The scientists’ observation warns of the mortality of the coral reefs off the coasts of Yucatan and Quintana Roo, where species in bloom are being decimated by pollutants and pulverizing the development of plants and fish that thrive in these ecosystems.
The scientist urged the government and society to warn of these facts and sign commitments to stop the damage caused to the environment, because if they do not do so, very soon not only will the natural spaces of the coastal areas be lost, but also the great reserve of freshwater that the region has.