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Recreational development and shoreline modification along the north coast of Yucatán, Mexico

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The north coast of Yucatán has been a destination for domestic tourists for over a century. Since 1945, recreational development has created a 20-km summer home strip centred upon the port of Progreso. In response to port and harbour improvements and corollary down-drift erosion, second-home owners have armoured the shoreline with groynes and caused a severe physical and aesthetic degradation of the coastal landscape. Since 1990, even the up-drift coast has become armoured and aesthetically degraded. Here, the impetus to modify the shoreline has been in response to poor construction practices and an inability by vacation-home owners to adjust to the natural processes of accretion and erosion that characterize this physical environment. As groyne construction diffuses eastward into pristine beach environments, efforts to expand international tourism may be hindered by environmental degradation caused by shoreline modification.


Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Environmental Studies, University of West Florida, USA

Publication date: 2001-02-01

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