The proposed construction of a fourth cruise ship terminal, which was approved in 2021 and then met with significant resistance from local environment groups and concerned residents, was suspended in mid-April. Though the fight is nowhere near over, the ruling asserts that the construction project may cause irreparable damage to the ecosystem and the people who depend on it, so the company heading the project is prohibited from moving forward with construction until a writ of protection has been resolved in trial.
If you’ve been following this issue over the past several months, then you know that the way it’s framed totally depends on who’s telling the story. Proponents of cruise ship tourism assert that an additional pier would bring the island a much needed economic boost. Environmentally-minded writers argue that the construction would destroy a significant part of our reef system and negatively impact a nearby coral regeneration project that’s underway, and emphasize that thousands more daily visitors will put undue stress on an already woefully inadequate system for wastewater management.
Whether or not you’re a fan of cruise ships, we think it comes down to a simple calculation: Cozumel is special, and we know its value goes far beyond what it puts in the pockets of the people who live here. It’s time that people honestly consider what we want to put first: the lure of unbridled economic growth, or protecting and defending this gem of an island so that future generations can enjoy it too?