Privatizing Akumal Bay?

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nevertoolate
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RE: Privatizing Akumal Bay? 2013/07/08 16:13:57 (permalink)
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Thanks, Paul! You have my support in trying to do something against fierce odds.

It is a very difficult problem to solve, because all of us are a part of the problem ! :-(

TOO MANY OF US (and them?), all want Akumal Bay to be the pristine place that it once was.

(I am a simple temporary tourist, so I am probably one of "THEM",
although I strive to be respectful and mindful as I minimize my impact on the environment.
I want Akumal Bay to be as unchanged as possible when I return each year. )

If you visited 20 years ago, you started hating the crowds 10 years ago.
If you visited 10 years ago, you started hating the crowds 5 years ago.

Certainly, all local residents, including those in the Pueblo and surrounding area ( 50 miles? )
should enjoy unencumbered access to the bay.

But the Bay cannot withstand the hordes of people that descend on the Bay,
especially those that are poorly trained in respecting the environment.

One solution would be a "National Park" designation for Akumal Bay and some type of small wristband fee for day use.
Use the fees to pay for some level of CEA authority to enforce respectful National Park behavior.
In Utah, some lakes and reservoirs have maximum limits as to the number of boats allowed on the lakes.
I don't visit nor spend my tourist dollars in those places, but those rules minimize the negative effects of over-use.

Perhaps local residents could receive free annual card.

The next big hotel/condo development likely dooms all the best efforts anyway... So sad...
(Money talks and when I can't afford it, I'll have to go elsewhere. That is obviously happening already.)

post edited by nevertoolate - 2013/07/08 16:21:44
#26
alexakumal
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RE: Privatizing Akumal Bay? 2013/07/08 16:14:10 (permalink)
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Thanks, Paul!
#27
Dos Banana Daquiri
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RE: Privatizing Akumal Bay? 2013/07/08 16:25:01 (permalink)
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ORIGINAL: paulsn

Conservative estimates tell us that swimming with turtles, the key attraction for Akumal, could have its days numbered if the threats mentioned above continue unabated. The seagrasses will disappear in two to three years and, with them, the sea turtles which feed on them.


 
link to these "conservative estimates" please.  lol @ the seagrass disappearing in 2 to 3 years!
#28
Tortuga Tom
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RE: Privatizing Akumal Bay? 2013/07/08 16:38:24 (permalink)
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Thanks for filling us in Paul. [:)]





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#29
nipper
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RE: Privatizing Akumal Bay? 2013/07/08 17:07:53 (permalink)
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Thanks Paul. All parties with property on the bay need to follow suit.

I would gladly pay a daily/weekly fee if Akumal were a protected area.

AASB 2018 created good memories. Getting ready for 2019!!
#30
ScubaBum
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RE: Privatizing Akumal Bay? 2013/07/08 17:13:46 (permalink)
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Why start now when you knew 10 -15 years ago the bay and surrounding reefs were going to hell and dying?

Most I know (gringos) that settled in that area are long gone.....years ago, as they knew what was happening/or going to happen. They left what was left for the tour ons. Now there is almost nada left.

So, why the wait??? It's not like you didn't know this was going to happen!

I guess I should just email this to Paul. ??

Glad I've been there, way back when and had the opportunity to live and visit akumal at its best....and that was many, many years ago.
#31
FinsUP
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RE: Privatizing Akumal Bay? 2013/07/08 17:41:41 (permalink)
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Thanks for the information Paul, and this is all well and good, but what about the hotels?

ABR and HAC "should" do a mandatory 'snorkel orientation' for all guests who stay there, especially if they will be snorkeling. This makes sense to me. I have stayed at ABR enough times to witness their increase in snorkel tours, and I have even gotten out of my lounger, and put my snorkel gear on to swim out to some morons who were blatantly standing on the coral - for long periods of time.

This infuriates me. I shouldn't have to do this, but I have and I will continue to do it, because people are ignorant of what's right, or simply don't care (and I have met both types).

Good environmental citizenship needs to extend to the hotels. They too have a responsibility to protect what is in front of them and helps them rake in the money.

Rant over.




for now
#32
Tortuga Tom
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RE: Privatizing Akumal Bay? 2013/07/08 18:01:46 (permalink)
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I would gladly pay a daily/weekly fee if Akumal were a protected area


Ditto





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#33
Cabin Boy
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RE: Privatizing Akumal Bay? 2013/07/08 18:44:52 (permalink)
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TT and Wifey I was just asking questions. I was not trying to stir things up either. I have seen people who have grabbed turtles and when I yelled at them they gave me the finger and went on there way. I to wish something would be done to HELP the reef and the turtles.
So one more question..... How do they educate the tour boats and tours that come to the bay.
Many questions are yet to be asked and answered so I will just take a wait and see attitude and wait for the dust to settle.

CB

Enjoy the Journey, It's the only one we get.
#34
Tortuga Tom
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RE: Privatizing Akumal Bay? 2013/07/08 18:53:44 (permalink)
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ORIGINAL: Cabin Boy

TT and Wifey I was just asking questions. I was not trying to stir things up either. I have seen people who have grabbed turtles and when I yelled at them they gave me the finger and went on there way. I to wish something would be done to HELP the reef and the turtles.
So one more question..... How do they educate the tour boats and tours that come to the bay.
Many questions are yet to be asked and answered so I will just take a wait and see attitude and wait for the dust to settle.

CB

I think that's pretty much where we are all at right now. I expect I'll find out a good bit more when there next month. This all needs to happen sooner rather than later. Many many of us have seen and done the same that you described. [&o]
The "educating" not the grabbing.....[:D][:D][:D]





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#35
gerber
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RE: Privatizing Akumal Bay? 2013/07/08 19:29:24 (permalink)
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Ok, I get this, it's not a bad move when the moves available to you are limited.
 
BUT, I think if you limit the access to the public beach, ABR is just going to wind up pushing more in through their gates.  It's crazy how many tours come through there and I think it's going to get worse with this move.  I'm not saying don't try to limit access and educate bay guests, but what's stopping ABR from seriously profitting from it??  Someone tell me why I'm wrong here...
 
Make it like Puerto Morelos and limit the access that way perhaps, or is that too hard with a close-in reef?  Perhaps.
 
I don't know what the solution is, but it's looking like ABR is just going to get worse with groups taking over their area of the beach/bay. 
 
Gee, that'll be fun.  [:@]
#36
woodlock
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RE: Privatizing Akumal Bay? 2013/07/08 20:27:06 (permalink)
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We are at the Barcelo now and were planning to go to Akumal tomorrow.
We don't mind paying an entrance fee, and try to minimize our impact, just wondering what to expect when we get there in the morning.
It is such a privilege to be able to experience the turtles, and would be disappointed not to be able to go.
Any other info would be very helpful!
Thanks!

 

[/url]
#37
barata
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RE: Privatizing Akumal Bay? 2013/07/08 20:32:56 (permalink)
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It's about time - if this is meant to limit the number and attitudes of people using the bay. Around here they have put measures in place in the National Parks to limit users of places that were being loved to death. Lake O'Hara has a limit on campers and day users - unless you opt to hike in the 13 km along a boring trail you have to use their bus. All backcountry campgrounds require reservations.
The only unfortunate part is that it took so long to do something about it. I've seen some snorkel tours where the guides have been encouraging people to get up close and personal with the turtles - keep those groups away and let guides with a conscience lead the way. Yes, it mean that some places like the local dive shops have a monopoly on the business but hopefully it also means that there will be stricter rules.
Good luck CEA!
#38
relaxing
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RE: Privatizing Akumal Bay? 2013/07/08 20:38:04 (permalink)
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I am in favour of any action that will help save the area - no matter how uncomfortable it may make some people initially, eventually we all get used to change - especially if it's for the better.

Go CEA go!

 

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#39
ChicagoCraig
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RE: Privatizing Akumal Bay? 2013/07/08 20:41:56 (permalink)
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Not a pretty way to funnel traffic towards CEA. Perhaps something will change. Big boulders? Nasty looking.

Sure appears there is no fee, so not sure why that keeps being mentioned.

We'll make an effort to drive to Lol Ha as usual. Hope we can . With kids and gear in tow....been nice to park there for years. Once a year. Turtle grass in Soliman Bay is wonderful. The nests at Xcalcel were over the top last summer. Sad to see this bay die. Too little too late. Maybe porta potties for all ABR guests. Shut that "septic system" off.
#40
juan rojo
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RE: Privatizing Akumal Bay? 2013/07/08 22:02:33 (permalink)
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Woodlock go ahead and go . Both of the paths in the photo may eventually be closed in favour of the main entrance to the CEA in the small courtyard by Imelda's and around the old TSA building . Maybe old Imelda is the behind the scenes powerbroker at work here [8D] . There has been talk of a total pedestrian re routing away from the arches . There was some discussion here around the busy Easter season on this thread .

http://forums.locogringo.com/forums/tm.asp?m=1531549&mpage=1&key=sandy%2Cpath

This is a cut and pasted post from elsewhere . I know that most of it is preaching to the choir but I'm lazy and not editing .

To be clear there is basically no change to the free Akumal erxperience as it turns out . Go next week and enjoy the experience .

The Centro Ecológico Akumal is a non profit organization that has and continues to attempt to protect the local habitat and water quality in this unique local eco system . The volunteers and paid staff do the nesting enhancement for the turtles as well as habitat protection for turtles , coral and fish and providing research and education functions and very importantly lifegaurding services .

There may be more changes to access the beach with an idea to funnelling all foot traffic past the CEA (saya) education center with a possible short education session and the offer of qualified guides if desired . Foot traffic may also soon be directed away from the congested arch area , leaving it for cars , and down past Turtle Bay and La Cueva Del Pescarors to a path and a marked crossing to guide you to the CEA entrance .

Some of this started at the busy Easter season and it seems it has been continued in a dramatic but harmless manner .

I have witnessed very little feeding of fish at Akumal Bay , unlike many other places but some people simply don't realize the damage they can do with their feet and assume rock-like coral is actually rock and the little attached critters too .

There may be changes in the water coming soon as well with some roped off areas to encourage re growth of stressed species .

If a stranger approaches anywhere else in the Mayan Riviera get your time share radar on and be rude or run or both . At Akumal beach be polite and decline the tour if you already know your stuff . If it is your first time let them show you the film or if you have kids with you in any case .

There are other private tour guides with snorkel rentals very near the CEA . There are also two dive shops very near with rental gear .

As I said earlier CEA provides free lifegaurding and enforces the Yellow and Red flag conditions set by some other government body . These flags are set in this case in particular with an overabundance of caution to reflect the volume and varied skill level of the users .

On red flag days there are no lifegaurds as there is no swimming allowed . The dive shops will still sell you gear but they will not rent it for public safety reasons , voluntarily , at some loss to themselves , to be responsible citizens . The private renters will still rent equipment to potentially uninformed snorkellers who may not even know that there is a caution condition and no normal lifegaurd protection in place . Renting gear outside the arches before knowing the flag condition is also a mistake .The private renters may also offer tours and may not perform with the ecological sensitivity and professionalism of the CEA guides . Make a responsible choice about gear rental and ask about flags before you pay .

Support the CEA by using their guides or with some money in the jar , completely voluntarily at this point .

http://www.ceakumal.org/

The last paragraph is at the heart of the re routing decision in my opinion both for safety and ecological reasons and to try to control walk through tours who add nothing to the locals and just dry off and drive to the next place .


ABR is obviously the VERY worst source of these drive by snorkellers , not the registered guests but the transient tours . Patrons can vote their conscience and NOT stay at ABR and tell them why .


Please be happy always

PARTLY CLOUDY = MOSTLY SUNNY
#41
Akumal GanG
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RE: Privatizing Akumal Bay? 2013/07/08 23:15:12 (permalink)
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Well there is an altercation going on right now. Police versus locals. Not good.

#42
spitty1974
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RE: Privatizing Akumal Bay? 2013/07/08 23:17:21 (permalink)
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After reading the post from Paulsn this is my take on the situation:

1. As was stated by many, this is being done to control the mass number of outside snorkel groups that are coming into the bay to make a quick buck. On our last trip in June, I was up early many times to go out fishing with Francisco. On several mornings, before anyone else was out in town or on the beach, I saw 1-2 snorkel groups from vans headed to the bay. These tour guides are not part of Akumal Dive Shop or Akumal Dive Center. They are like outlaws in the Wild West with zero accord for anyone, nevertheless that bay and its well being.

2. Controlling the access to the beach and bay does not lead to not being able to access the beach. Locals and tourists alike will still be able to go to Akumal Bay. Lol Ha, Akumal Dive Center, and all of the other restaurants and shops would suffer in the end.....These groups are not going to bite the hand that feeds them.

3. My first trip to Akumal was on 2001, anyone that has gone back annually over the course of 10 years or more as I have, has witnessed dramatic changes. As a tourist, it would be hypocritical of me to say I have not contributed to some of those changes, I have. If the current actions by property owners did not take place, what would the place be like in another 10 years, 5, years, or even 1 year? That is a thought I don't want to think about. I commend them for stepping up to the plate and putting this initial measure into place.

4. I know some are squawking that the efforts are too late......Hogwash, get off your soapbox, better late than never! I hope this will serve as a a catalyst for the entire Playa area of Akumal.

5. Lastly, if these actions later lead to limited access to the beach for tourists and hopefully not locals, so be it! I can live with controlled managed access to a fragile ecosystem. Quite frankly, I was happy to see that a rock walled planter was built along the road into Akumal from the highway to limit the amount of cars that have space to park to access Akumal Playa........Controlling the amount of cars is a good thing.




#43
snorkelphile
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RE: Privatizing Akumal Bay? 2013/07/09 00:02:05 (permalink)
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ORIGINAL: Akumal GanG

Well there is an altercation going on right now. Police versus locals. Not good.


Huh?????? Wassup? [:o]
#44
Akumal GanG
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RE: Privatizing Akumal Bay? 2013/07/09 00:08:06 (permalink)
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Tractors have arrived. Pushing stones/rocks etc into place to prevent access except at designated point. There are even police with lights flashing at the entrance off 307 at the exit to Akumal.

I have pics but can't figure out how to post. I'm a tech dummy when it comes to posting pics here on LG.
#45
txgal
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RE: Privatizing Akumal Bay? 2013/07/09 07:09:25 (permalink)
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Well - this doesn't sound good. I totally agree that something needed to be done about the bays deterioration. However, for me this comes at a very bad time since I will be there in a few days. We stay on HMB but spend 90% of our time in Akumal bay. Doesn't sound like the serene vacation I was counting on. I've been coming to Akumal for over 10 years and I know that something needs to be done and I totally support the CEA and their efforts. I just wish I would have known this was coming before paying for my vacation of 6. Had I known there was dissension in the area, I would have chose a different vacation spot this year. I've been so excited all week that we leave on Friday. This has really just taken the wind right out of my sails. [&:]

Suzanne





#46
crunch
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RE: Privatizing Akumal Bay? 2013/07/09 07:24:14 (permalink)
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Sounds like a whole lot of confusion about what is going on. Not that I have any vote so I guess i will just sit back and wait and see.

Hope it does end with only the local dive shops/CEA being allowed to run snorkel groups. That would be ideal.

And hopefully the locals can be allowed to take any route they wish.

#47
Tomas
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RE: Privatizing Akumal Bay? 2013/07/09 07:25:31 (permalink)
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And yet there are plans for a new mega AI right there on the bay.

Ironic? Or moronic?[:D]


"Turn up the heat,
chill the rose,
stretch out on the beach
and let those metatarsals play"
(Rev. J. Buffett)
#48
crunch
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RE: Privatizing Akumal Bay? 2013/07/09 07:39:56 (permalink)
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I will take an M Vanna.......
#49
woodlock
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RE: Privatizing Akumal Bay? 2013/07/09 08:21:16 (permalink)
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Just wondering if the election on Sunday has anything to do with this.
We went to Cozumel on Sunday and there was a heavy police presence everywhere.
Is it possible the newly elected officials have brought changes?
It is a great day here this morning and snorkeling would be great!
Still haven't made up our minds.

 

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#50
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