5 Easy Ways You Can Keep Our Cenotes Blue?
For thousands of years, the cenotes always attracted many visitors. Starting with the great Maya civilization. Currently, these magical cenotes attract many tourists every day. Research shows notable changes in water quality, threats to cenotes including tourism, poor solid waste management and lack of interest. While the levels of pollution found aren’t a health threat yet for snorkeling and diving, there are already concerns about human exposure from the consumption of contaminated drinking water.
So how can you help?
1. Create Awareness
Most of us look at the cenote as a pool, missing the importance that they are not isolated but an interconnected system. What damage and pollution in one cenote affects many others as well. For many Maya the cenotes are not only a source of water and life, but a precious connection to another realm. Moreover, these cenotes are home of important endemic species, they feed springs and support wetlands and provide our water needs. We all have to treat cenotes with the respect they deserve.
2. Keep your skills sharp
Unfortunately many snorkelers and divers cause (unintentionally) damage to the cenotes. Features that took thousands of years to develop, like stalagmites and stalactites, get damaged during short visits. It is imperative that each of us takes responsibility. Starting with a balanced configuration , quality training and taking refreshers if it’s been a while to reduce the impact to a minimum. Stable buoyancy (floating or sinking), horizontal trim (positioning), with the right propulsion techniques (no hands or fins to bottom or ceiling) and a high level of awareness (passive environmental interaction) will keep maintaining the cenotes in good shape.
3. Choose your accommodation responsible
Currently, only one-third of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula uses municipal wastewater treatment systems. This leads to the fact that daily thousands of gallons seeps through the permeable limestone foundation into the aquifer connecting to the cenotes. We can already make a step in the right direction by carefully choosing (and sometimes asking) the accommodation with proper wastewater systems.
4. Don’t leave anything behind
Make sure after every dive, that you also bring everything back. You would do that with your valuables too, right? Unfortunately discarding your rubbish (even in the trashcan) at the cenote, can lead to pollution, by landowners not using the correct ways of disposal afterwards. Give a good example to others, also underwater, when you see debris that doesn’t belong there.
5. Use eco-friendly products
Pollution takes place through two main categories. Directly when you step in the water and indirectly because the drainage at the cenote is often inadequate. It is up to us to do our research. There are many alternative eco-friendly products out there for sunscreen, insect repellent, shampoo and soaps. When in doubt, do without by using protective clothing and delaying you’re shower until your back.
We hope you will help us make a difference, today.