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The British Petroleum oil spill that struck the Gulf of Mexico on April 20, 2010 and continues to spill from the Deepwater Horizon oil rig may raise concerns about traveling to Mexico, but the greatest impact has been on the U.S. states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida along the Gulf of Mexico. The Mexican Caribbean, Cancun, and the Riviera Maya, Mexico, have not been affected. In fact, travelers who want to vacation in these areas can reap the benefits of some great travel deals.
Gulf of Mexico
The Gulf of Mexico is primarily surrounded by the U.S. states of Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas (known as the Gulf Coast), and the island of Cuba to the southeast. It also borders Mexico's Bay of Campeche, the Mexican states of Tamaulipas, Veracruz, Tabasco, Campeche, Yucatan, and the southerly Caribbean Sea. Cancun and the Riviera Maya, located in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, border the Caribbean Sea southeast of the Gulf of Mexico.
Although the oil continues to spill into the Gulf of Mexico, active measures are being taken to stop the oil leak and contain the oil flow. Already having devastated the Gulf Coast's shorelines, oceans, and natural ecosystems, impacting its wetlands, wildlife, birds, fish, dolphins, whale sharks, and other marine life, additional methods of containment -- including thousands of feet of booms to confine the oil -- are being employed to prevent further environmental damage.
Since Cancun and the Riviera Maya border the Caribbean Sea further to the southeast, the ecosystems of this region have not been affected by the oil spill. Given the increased containment measures, along with the wind flow patterns and water currents surrounding the Gulf of Mexico, the oil slick is being carried north towards the southeast coastline of the U.S. by the Florida Keys, and will most likely not impact Mexico.
There's no speculation that the BP oil spill will affect the beaches and oceans near Cancun and the Riviera Maya in the future -- and they're certainly not being affected now. The clear, turquoise-blue Caribbean Sea and its white sand beaches are still as beautiful as ever, making this the perfect time of year to swim with the whale sharks on a whale shark tour or swim with the dolphins on a dolphin swim tour where the ocean is tranquil and clean.
About the Author
Christina Famiglietti is a professional writer and editor with experience in various industries. Her most recent passion is the Mexican Caribbean, where she lives and is inspired to write about her beloved Mexico -- its nature, culture, travel, and tourism.