Odériz, I.; Mendoza, E.; Leo, C.; Santoyo, G.; Silva, R.; Martínez, R.; Grey E., and López, R., 2014. An alternative solution to erosion problems at Punta Bete-Punta Maroma, Quintana Roo, Mexico: Conciliating tourism and nature.
This paper presents an erosion problem found between Punta Bete and Punta Maroma, on the Riviera Maya, Mexico. The case is worth studying as its features are quite complex: ecologically speaking, the area contains part of the Mesoamerican barrier reef, the second largest in the world, an important area of seagrass and large mangrove fields; on the other hand regarding economic aspects, the main activity is tourism, which is of vital importance to the region and nationally. These two opposing interests need to be conciliated in the adoption of a solution to problem of erosion on the coast as both are being degraded at the present. The chronic erosion reported in recent years is due to natural causes, such as the slenderizing of the coral barriers and to anthropogenic causes such as local constructions on the shoreline that interrupt the longitudinal sediment transport. This work describes the characterization of the zone and analyses of marine climate and beach sediment. The hydrodynamics have been numerically modelled with WAPO and COCO models and the morphological response of profiles with the XBeach model. Three possible solutions are proposed and numerically tested, each of which present strengths and weakness. The three alternatives are discussed in order to help decision making as some form of intervention is urgently required.