Posted by: ecodestination | May 4, 2009

On Mexico’s controversial Ultramar pier

photo from

photo from

(Scroll down for the latest news.)

Background (a few years ago):

The pier was built on a public beach and is located a mere 118 meters from the Jardines reef, all despite extensive opposition from environmental groups and companies and 3 years of lawsuits.

The pier was built illegally, as that type of infrastructure is prohibited in the area, according to the 2003 Local Environmental Ordering Plan (rough translation). Sediments flew, as the lawfully mandated precautions for such a structure were ignored. And so on.


“There were instructions to demolish the pier because it harms the coastline and the surrounding environment. We will have to address those who were involved in the building of the pier and we won’t take technical decisions lightly. The environment and coast of Quintana Roo, and in particular where this pier was build, is fragile and we have to be alert to the decisions the government takes so they don’t damage the environment,” said  State Governor Félix Arturo Gonzalez Canto during an interview held in late March.

Okay. At the same time…

Federal Attorney of Environmental Protection (Profepa) Delegate Luis Jorge Morales Arjona claims the Ultramar-Aquaword pier does not affect the Jardines reef – at all.

Sure, we believe him.

He said that after the pier was reopened (oh yeah, it was shut down) Profepa conducted an inspection of the area underwater during 4 days. “Several tests were done,” Morales Arjona said.

But wait.

He said Profepa verified the organisms that were transplanted (so they woulnd’t die) from the pier area, which were originally on the surface the pier was built on. “There they are, alive,” he said.


However, “We don’t know how many organisms survived. We don’t know how many there were and which area they spanned,” he said.

He also assured the pier is not located close to a reef that could be affected by ships. And that the pier counts with the authorization of the Environmental Impact Manifestation (MIA) and the concession of the sea-land federal zone.


Environmentalists protest to have pier torn down

Environmentalists protest to have pier torn down

And that’s not all

100 shopkeepers and merchants signed a document stating they support the Ultramar pier. In that document, they wrote that the coral reef exists only in the minds of their opponents.

Essentially, a group of pissed off folks wrote a letter stating that they are not associated with the pier, but anyone who’s against it is a stupid jerk who wants them to starve to death when they lose business due to a non-existent pier.

It’s almost funny how they use both legal and rude language in the same document, accusing anyone who wants the pier gone as an immoral agitator. I mean, I get what they’re saying,  but, geez, get a grip.


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