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VAE > Project

Coastal Water Quality in the Mediterranean


The "Mediterranean Action Plan", (MAP) is a regional cooperative effort involving the EU and 21 countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea, to assess and control marine pollution and promote the health of the Mediterranean Sea. Over time, integrated coastal zone planning and management has become a key tool through which the MAP operates. The Mediterranean is commonly considered to have clear blue waters, however over the past few decades shifts in the marine environment including contribution of nutrient pollution from multiple sources have contributed to higher levels of biological activity and eutrophication in the region. Nitrogen and phosphorus from urban waste treatment, livestock farming, fertilizers and the metal industry have contributed to ecosystem shifts which have yet to be fully documented.

EO Contribution

Remote sensing studies of the region from 1998 through to 2003 have demonstrated patterns of eutrophication, which have been telling of sources and impacts. The purpose of the EOEuropa project is to extend existing studies through to 2011 to aid a better understanding of the current trends of eutrophication and marine pollution in the Southern Mediterranean. The developed indicators can then be used as a baseline for Environmental Impact Assessments in relation to major EIB investment programmes and additional monitoring and analysis programmes (e.g. in relation to fisheries management).

The delivered products are monthly and seasonal indicators of Chlorophyll-a concentration and turbidity for the first 4 km of coastal waters along the southern Mediterranean coastline. The products are based on remotely-sensed ocean colour data at 300 m spatial resolution. The monthly and seasonal aggregated products are generated as 90th percentile values and not as simple mean values. The atmospheric correction applied to the ocean colour data use a scheme optimised for the Southern Mediterranean and validated in peer-reviewed scientific literature.

Technical Officer: Gordon Campbell

Starting Date: 2012-01-16

ACRI-ST as supplier - prime

European Investment Bank as user - buyer

coastal water quality monitoring (Coastal Zone Management)