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Santa Marta Plans Beach Closures

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Taganga beach with fishing boats. Credit: ColombiaOne/Luis Ospino

The city of Santa Marta, in the Colombian Caribbean, has programmed temporary closures of some beaches to favor the recovery of marine ecosystems. The closures will be made in two phases: the first during the month of February and a second in November, according to the schedule of the District Institute of Tourism of Santa Marta (Indetur).

The first closures are scheduled for the 20th and 21st of this month in order to clean and oxygenate the marine basins where access will be limited. The measure, according to the Mayor’s Office of the capital of Magdalena, is carried out with the idea of not limiting use of the beaches in the tourist season, as well as to avoid coinciding with the annual closing of the Tayrona National Park, the most visited place by tourists in Santa Marta.

Minimize the impact on tourism

During the first day, Tuesday, February 20, the beaches of the rural area will be closed to bathers, and all the beaches will enter into an oxygenation phase. The second day, on Wednesday, February 21, will take place in the urban area, and among the beaches affected is Playa Blanca, which has been awarded the blue flag for its sustainable practices. This important beach will be closed during the two days.

The cleaning and oxygenation work is planned for the month of February, traditionally one of the least important in terms of tourism in the city. The objective of the authorities is to minimize the impact on national and foreign tourists visiting Santa Marta.

Likewise, these same measures have also been programmed for the second half of the year, specifically on Thursday, November 21 when the entry of visitors and tour operators to the beaches of the urban area of the city will be limited again.

Cleaning up the Gaira river

At the end of last year, an alliance between public and private organizations began to clean the final stretch of the Gaira River, which flows into the sector of the same name, in Salguero beach, south of the famous Rodadero.

In this joint intervention, a total of 75 trees were planted and cleaning tasks were performed in the area. The recovery of one thousand linear meters on both sides of the river bank is planned, of which 417 meters have already been recovered by the action teams. Also, material swept away by this tributary that reached the Caribbean Sea, contaminating its waters, was removed.

The objective pursued is twofold: on the one hand, to avoid contamination of the sea waters, preventing waste from reaching the Caribbean through the river, and on the other, to minimize the consequences of sudden flooding of the riverbed, which is common when there are heavy rains.

Santa Marta beach
Mouth of the Gaira River, at Playa Salguero – Credit: Felipe Restrepo Acosta / CC BY-SA 4.0 Deed

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