In Mexico, the CEMIE-Océano (Mexican Center for Ocean Energy Innovation) is exploring potential locations for marine energy production while assessing social perception and protecting the environment. The goals of this study were to: a) calculate potential renewable energy production in the north of the Yucatan Peninsula; b) understand the perception of the local inhabitants towards the installation and operation of ocean energy devices and c) estimate the potential environmental impacts in the Río Lagartos Biosphere Reserve, considering keystone or unique/endemic species. Our results indicate that energy harvesting through salinity gradient would be the most feasible among renewable energy production alternatives that would reduce emissions of CO2 into the atmosphere thus helping mitigate global warming. The maximum recorded salinity was 90 psu, in February and April, which would provide 1.39 kWh/m3. This would not be sufficient to fully meet the local demands for electricity. Our findings show that the local people are not well informed regarding renewable energies. They appreciate their natural environment and would be very reluctant to see drastic changes in their surroundings. Finally, if saline gradient energy production were to be implemented here, the changes in the gradient and hydrosedimentary flows would probably induce undesirable alterations to the natural ecosystems (mangroves), food webs (plankton), and threatened species (flamingos and horseshoe crabs). In conclusion, our findings indicate that salinity gradient energy production is unlikely to be viable in the Ria Lagartos Biosphere Reserve mostly because of the reluctance of local inhabitants to changes in their environment and the potential environmental impacts.