By official Federal Government decree on March 7, Akumal Bay was declared a Marine Refuge for Protected Species. This move will strengthen conservation efforts for the three species of sea turtle that inhabit the area: the green, loggerhead and hawksbill; four species of coral: staghorn, elkhorn, soft corals and sea fans; three species of mangrove: white, buttonwood and red and three species of sea grass, among others.

Comprising 1,600 hectares, the protected area runs for approximately 11 kilometers along the coast from Xcacel-Xcacelito to Akumal Bay, Half Moon Bay and north to Yalku and Sirenis. It overlaps with an already existing Fish Refuge and will be administered by CONANP, the National Commission of Protected Areas.