Silva, E.V.; Farias, J. F.; Barbosa, L.N., and Lima, V.G. F., 2016. Environmental Dynamics of the Estuary of the Pacoti River in Ceará, Brazil: Proposals for Management and Environmental Planning. In: Vila-Concejo, A.; Bruce, E.; Kennedy, D.M., and McCarroll, R.J. (eds.), Proceedings of the 14th International Coastal Symposium (Sydney, Australia). Journal of Coastal Research, Special Issue, No. 75, pp. 143–147. Coconut Creek (Florida), ISSN 0749-0208.
The estuary of the Pacoti River (3°49′27″ S, 38°24′18″ W) is located in the state of Ceará, in northeastern Brazil. The estuary is also part of the Rio Pacoti Environmental Protection Area (Rio Pacoti EPA), which is important for the stability of the local ecosystems and the exchange of material and energy. Despite being protected legally, the environmental quality of the study area is being threatened by impacts such as the deforestation, landfills, the contamination of the water table, and unregulated building, which all alter the natural dynamics of the local systems. These impacts result from inadequate processes of land use and occupation, which fail to respect local potentialities and limitations. The present study found that these processes of degradation are ongoing, and do not only contradict the legislation that regulates the sustainable use of the local environment, but may also cause irreparable damage to the local geo-ecological systems, constituting a grave problem for this sector of the coast of Ceará. In this context, the study presents a geo-environmental description of the estuary and an integrated diagnosis, based on the geo-ecological analysis of the landscape, in two phases –organization and survey, analysis, diagnosis, and proposals. The application of this geo-ecological analysis resulted in the demarcation and classification of the following units: coastal plain and the pre-coastal plateau. Based on this analysis, a proposal for the environmental and functional zoning of the study area was put forward, with the objective of integrating economic development with the conservation of local natural resources.