Gorayeb, A; Silva, E.V.; Soares, L.S.; Carvalho, R.G. de; Rabelo, F.D.B.; Landim Neto, F.O.; Farias, J.F., and Sopchaki, C. H., 2020. Planning and management of the estuarine zones of the coastal regions of Northern - Northeastern Brazil: An approach based on landscape geoecology. In: Malvárez, G. and Navas, F. (eds.), Global Coastal Issues of 2020. Journal of Coastal Research, Special Issue No. 95, pp. 814–818. Coconut Creek (Florida), ISSN 0749-0208.
Estuaries provide an appropriate unit for spatial analyses that permit the establishment of environmental management strategies, based on the existing knowledge of their hydrographic basins. The present study developed a diagnostic approach to landscape and environmental management, based on the theoretical concepts of landscape geoecology and environmental planning, and supported by the techniques of remote sensing and thematic cartography. Thematic maps were prepared representing the structures, functions, and dynamics of the natural and cultural geoecological units formed by the estuaries of three Brazilian rivers — the Itapecuru – State of Maranhão and estuarine complex of the Tubarão river – State of Rio Grande do Norte. These maps show the geoecological units and features, indicating their degree of ecodynamic stability, and the evolutionary trends of the propositional scenarios and zoning, with the objective of defining potential strategies for the planning of land use on different functional scales. Theoretical-methodological models of environmental management were proposed, based on landscape geoecology (geosystem analysis, ecodynamics) and environmental planning (thematic cartography, remote sensing) approaches. These models resulted in summary tables and thematic maps on three scales: (i) regional — hydrographic basin (1:250,000) and (ii) municipal — estuarine (1:100,000), to support the implementation of effective management plans for the study estuaries. This study was coordinated by the Landscape Geoecology and Environmental Planning Laboratory of the Federal University of Ceará, through the CNPq researcher PQ program, State University of Rio Grande do Norte and Federal University of Maranhão. It was also supported by four other Brazilian universities through their graduate and undergraduate research programs. This study represents an important step toward the development and integration of propositional management models based on interdisciplinary and interinstitutional approaches, which provide an ideal approach to the understanding and planning of the estuaries of the northern coast of Brazil, which encompasses two distinct socio-environmental realities, in the humid Amazon region and the semi-arid Northeast.