The badge not only depends on the economic aspect, but also on complying with the ecological requirements, which with the tourist boom that the port is experiencing, hang in the balance.
Due to lack of budget, Mazatlan lost the certification of two of its four beaches, with the Clean Beach distinction, and another of them reduced the length of the certified stretch by half. They are Luna Bonita, Estrella de Mar and El Verde Camacho Sanctuary, respectively.
Certification sets standards and helps distinguish beaches that offer high quality from those that do not in terms of service, management, education, and safety, while protecting the natural environment and cultural integrity.
” It is a plus for Mazatlan (to have certified beaches) mainly for the ecosystems, which is what is sought, that the beach is sustainable and there is a balance between visitors and the ecosystem,” assured Luis Fernando Ortiz Genis, owner of the Operator and Beach Manager.
Luna Bonita obtained its certification within the recreational modality, for the first time in 2020 before the Mexican Institute for Standardization and Certification (IMNC) with a length of 514 meters. That same year it was also obtained by Estrella de Mar with a length of 2,172 meters . It became the largest in the country in this category .
While since 2012 the El Verde Camacho Sanctuary, a sea turtle refuge, has been recertified in the priority modality for Conservation. With its six kilometers in length, it was not only the longest in the country, but also the only one of its kind worldwide within the category. This year only three thousand meters were certified.
The intention is to recover the badges next year, assured Ortiz Genis, but the resources that are required a lot, a section of 500 meters represents an investment of up to 60 thousand pesos, plus what is done the rest of the year to keep them in adequate conditions. , although he recognized that there is interest on the part of the private initiative, specifically from the hotel industry, to add more certifications to the port.
But the certification not only depends on the economic resource, but also on meeting the requirements, which with the tourist boom that Mazatlan is experiencing hangs in the balance.
” Every day we have assistants on the beaches, however, in high season the movement there is more intense and the accumulation of garbage also increases, ” said the municipal official.
Neither the 10 elements that travel daily from the Golden Zone to Olas Altas doing cleaning work in the sand area, nor the Saturday garbage collection days, where waste such as plastic, microplastics, remains of Styrofoam and glass, sometimes even furniture or parts of it, seem to be sufficient against the demand of visitors who have certified and non-certified beaches.
Having certified beaches is worthwhile as part of the criteria of sustainability, quality, efficiency and preservation of this, which is the main tourist attraction of the port, in addition to allowing it to have a certain level of competitiveness with other coastal destinations, indicates Ángel García Contreras, consultant specializing in environment and development issues.
” It is a process that allows you in 70 parameters to guarantee that certified beaches are within international quality standards , water quality, waste, infrastructure, service , environmental education, signage, and that is very good for the visitor and even more so if you want to attract quality tourism, ” he said.
However, the problem, or what the authorities have not understood, is that it is not just a matter of obtaining an award, but of carrying out a comprehensive planning process that allows the beaches to be maintained in adequate conditions throughout the year and not only meet the requirements when they go to recertify.
“What it is about is not to obtain a diploma, but to promote a process of organization, of management, in an integrated manner with the actors and sectors to improve the parameters “, he mentioned.
To certify the beaches, you can use the resources that come to the municipality from the Zofemat tax. Photo: Fausto McConegly | The Sun of Mazatlan
Every year, since 2013 and with some exceptions, the Gaviotas certification has been endorsed, especially on dates of massive concentration on the beaches , it is found that the most visible parameters do not comply with the specified standard :
Signage, regulatory solid waste containers, with a lack of basic services for users such as bathrooms, showers, guard booths with lifeguards and instead there is an anarchic growth of semi- fixed vendors and water service providers that do not comply with the access zoning – entrance to the bay.
OAP without concrete results
Only in 2018 was the para-municipal Operator and Administrator of Beaches created , which , he considers , has only served to spend money and increase bureaucracy and, on the contrary, certifications have decreased . In short, he sentenced, there are no concrete results.
The former director of Ecology recalled that until four years ago the regulation and certification of the beaches was in charge of this direction; Back then, when Playa Gaviotas was certified for the first time in 2013, toilets and portable showers were purchased to offer the service as mandated by the standard.
There was a mechanized sweeping system that allowed cleaning up to 20 centimeters deep in the sand and projects were carried out to lower Zofemat resources. Now the cleaning is done manually, it is not known where that equipment was left.
” Those who carry out their cleaning days should be congratulated, encouraged to continue doing so, but there is also a process of wear and tear on society and volunteers, because they see that this has no end. The authority should analyze why these organizations are not left in volunteerism and contribute with a strateg , a process of environmental education “.
Even, he added, the load of the beaches could be regulated by putting capacity, to avoid oversaturation, both of people and waste, thus maintaining the level of safety and quality.
” It is not just about obtaining an award, but about maintaining a virtuous, systematic and growing process among all the actors involved in the managemen , usufruct and recreation of a certified beach , only in this way can the environmental , sanitary and of security that differentiate a port with a sustainable beach and those that are the bunch “.
The high presence of tourists makes it more difficult to maintain a certification. Photo: Fausto McConegly | The Sun of Mazatlan
Types of certification
The Mexican Institute for Standardization and Certification through the Standard: NMX-AA-120-SCFI-2016 has the main objective of establishing the requirements and specifications of sustainability and quality of beaches in two modalities, for recreational use and priority for the conservation.
In this modality is the El Verde Camacho Sanctuary in Mazatlan, with a length of three kilometers; Ceuta Beach in Elota, with 500 meters and Las Labradas, San Ignacio, with 488 meters.
In the Recreational modality there is Gaviotas beach, in Mazatlan, with 530 meters in length; Costa Azul, Angostura, with 526 meters; Las Águilas, Navolato, with 500 meters and Las Glorias, Guasave, with 476 meters. The certificate is valid for two years.
The vision of this distinction is to ensure that the country’s beaches are known for their scenic beaut , environmental excellence, safety, facilities, signage with relevant information on each beach and universal accessibility.
According to the portal playaplatino.com in Sinaloa there are only three beaches with the Playa Platino distinction, all in Mazatlan, which are Playa Pinitos, located on Paseo Claussen next to the Casa del Marino, with a length of 150 meters; Holiday Inn, on Playa Gaviotas avenue in the Golden Zone, with a length of 60 meters and Hotel Park Inn, on Sábalo-Cerritos avenue, with a length of 20 meters.
What does the certification look for?
Bring resources from the private initiative to Mexican beaches, involvement of the local community in the environmental sustainability of the beach, responsible use of resources.
Long life for all living beings in the region, promoting responsible and conscious tourism, joining efforts to provide security and confidence in destinations, as well as infrastructure in its services, keeping the environment clean and free of polluting waste.
At the national level, Quintana Roo is the state that has the most certified beaches with the Platinum Beach distinction, a total of 8, Yucatán 7, Baja California Sur 5 and Oaxaca 3, as well as Mazatlán. Certificates are valid for one year.
Prestige of the tourist destination; greater foreign and national investment; conservation of coastal ecosystems promoting the care of their ecological processes, habitat and species of wild flora and fauna; increase in quality and processes up to international standards.
60 thousand pesos is the investment required to maintain a 500-meter stretch in adequate conditions.
The Mazatlan Post