Chicxulub, Yucatán — After 1,200 square meters of coastal dune vegetation was removed, environmental authorities bypassed barbed-wire fences to shut down a construction site.
The Federal Attorney for Environmental Protection (Profepa) temporarily closed a real estate development of in Chicxulub Puerto within the coastal ecosystem, which is restricted.
Profepa inspectors in the state noted the total removal of natural vegetation characteristic of the coastal dune ecosystem. Advertising on the fence, which blocked public access to the beach, indicated the name of a real estate developer who the authorities pursued.
The site lacked authorization and an environmental impact statement from the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat).
A rich array of vegetation was removed. Species include Estafiate (Ambrosia hispida), Sea Haba (Canavalia rosea), Riñonina (Ipomea pes-caprae), Sak Chuum (Croton punctatus), Ch’ilibil Su’uk (Sporobolus virginicus), Siki-may (Tournefortia gnaphalodes), Tabaquillo (Suriana maritime), Beach Grape (Coccoloba uvifera), Beach Ciric (Cordia sebestena), Yellow cotton (Gossypium hirsutum), Tulipancillo de Monte (Malvaviscus arboreus), Passion flower (Passiflora phoetida) and Nopal Costero (Opuntia dilleni or stricta).
To prevent further damage to the environment, based on article 170, section I, of the General Law of Ecological Equilibrium and Environmental Protection, Profepa imposed a Temporary Total Closure of the site’s activities.
The coastal dune ecosystem acts as an obstacle to wind currents, preventing salt and sand from blowing inland, and helps to prevent beach erosion. Dunes also filter rainwater.
The developer faces fines equivalent to as much as 50,000 days of minimum wage.