ABSTRACT

Sousa, R.C.; Pereira, L.C.C., and Jiménez, J.A., 2016. Estuarine beaches of the Amazon coast: environmental and recreational characterization. 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. 705–709. Coconut Creek (Florida), ISSN 0749-0208.

The Amazon coast is rich in natural resources, with highly valued natural landscapes and ecological systems. These environments include estuarine beaches, which are important areas for recreational activities. The present study provides an environmental and recreational diagnosis of three of these estuarine beaches on the Amazon coast (Colares, Marudá, and Murubira). The study was conducted in July, 2012, 2013 and 2015. An set of variables was assessed: (i) physical variables (hydrodynamics), (ii) microbiological variables (thermotolerant coliform concentrations), (iii) recreational actvities and (iv) the spatial distribution of infrastructure and services. The results indicate that these beaches are moderately hydrodynamic, with tidal ranges of 3–5 m and wave heights of up to 1 m, which are attractive features for beachgoers. The lack of adequate urban planning has caused serious social and environmental problems (e.g. erosion, destruction of dunes and mangroves, inadequate disposal of solid waste). The quality of the water has been affected by the lack of an adequate public sanitation system and the presence of numerous illegal sewage outlets on these beaches, which contribute to the high thermotolerant coliform concentrations recorded. The following measures were recommended: (i) removal of sewage outlets; (ii) collection of garbage from the beach at the end of each day's recreation; (iii) the provision of trash cans along the coastline, and (v) the installation of public toilets. The results of the study emphasize the urgent need for the regulation and planning of the use of the coastal environments of the Amazon region.

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