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All maritime activities have been banned in the city for 20 days.
The bay of Cartagena returned to its origins and, these days, the waters of the most important natural body of the capital city of Bolívar turned to turquoise blue, as it had not been seen for many years.
For many, the fact that the city has prohibited the entry of all types of boats to the bay, to slow down the advance of the coronavirus in the city, has favoured that the waters of the bay are clean and free of contaminants.
In fact, the Caribbean Oceanographic and Hydrographic Research Center (CIOH) explained that the positive effect on the environment of the suspension of maritime activities that were carried out daily in the bay of Cartagena is evident.
In the city, all maritime activities have been suspended since March 11 by decision of Mayor William Dau, an order that was subsequently endorsed by President Iván Duque. From that moment, even, it was prohibited for tourists to use the beaches for bathing.
The measure, ordered to mitigate and prevent covid-19 infections, also forced the suspension of the cruise season. Some 45 ships were expected to arrive in Cartagena until mid-year, with a projection of 150,000 passengers.
“The initial result of the change observed in the bay is the product of the non-transit of small boats and vessels whose activities keep their waters permanently agitated,” explained Lt. Natalia Burgos Uribe, head of the CIOH Marine Environment Protection area.
In addition, he added that in many cases these vessels contribute oily spills and pollutants, typical events that have occurred in previous years for this same time and contribute to contamination.
For Burgos, the positive effects on this marine ecosystem have to do with the fact that, since the constant agitation of the water does not occur, the sedimentation of the same falls and stagnates, which causes the transparency of the waters of Cartagena, where these days it is it is possible to observe schools of fish with the naked eye.
Burgos added that, having no contaminants or disturbances, sedimentation of materials in the water was achieved, allowing them to be transparent.
However, for the residents of Bocagrande and El Laguito, two of the most popular areas for tourists in Cartagena, the bay’s greatest enemy is the Canal del Dique, the artificial arm of the Magdalena River, which discharges millions of sediments every second. and pollutants.
“It is very important for Cartagena that it be known that the Canal del Dique is the largest contributor of pollution to the Rosario Islands and the Bay. Every year, around this time, and in the absence of rain, the Dique canal does not come down as heavily laden with sedimentation and therefore the waters of the bay appear transparent, ”said Gina Olmos, of the Bocagrande Community Action Board.
However, it is also true that during these days of obligatory isolation the bay seems free of cruises and merchant ships that discharge tons of pollutants as they pass through Cartagena.
The phenomenon in the waters is being evaluated by the CIOH, an entity that recalls that the country’s natural riches need a break from human activities for them to continue to be conserved.
For Burgos, the waters of the bay of Cartagena will remain transparent during the time of the cessation of maritime activities in the city.
Source: el Tiempo