Ecohydrology as a new tool for sustainable management of estuaries and coastal waters

Wolanski, E., Boorman, L. A., Chicharo, L., Langlois-Saliou, E., Lara, R., Plater, A.J., Uncles, R.J., and Zalewski, M. (2004) Ecohydrology as a new tool for sustainable management of estuaries and coastal waters. Wetlands Ecology and Management, 12 (4). pp. 234-276.

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Throughout the world, estuaries and coastal waters have experienced degradation. Present proposed remedial measures based on engineering and technological fix are not likely to restore the ecological processes of a healthy, robust estuary and, as such, will not reinstate the full beneficial functions of the estuary ecosystem. The successful management of estuaries and coastal waters requires an ecohydrologybased, basin-wide approach. This necessitates changing present practices by official institutions based on municipalities or counties as an administrative unit, or the narrowly focused approaches of managers of specific activities (e.g., farming and fisheries, water resources, urban and economic developments, wetlands management and nature conservationists). Without this change in thinking and management concept, estuaries and coastal waters will continue to degrade, whatever integrated coastal management plans are implemented. To help in this process of change there is a need to (1) develop a profound understanding of the effects of biota and biotic processes on mediating estuary response to changing hydrology, sediment and nutrient flux and of the biota on hydrology at the river basin scale, and (2) to develop science-based remediation measures at the river basin scale, with elements of ecohydrology and phytotechnology at their core, to strengthen the ability of the biota to sustain and adapt to human-induced stresses.

Item ID: 9416
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1572-9834
Keywords: ecohydrology; ecology; environmental degradation; estuary; hydrology; management; sustainable development
Date Deposited: 30 Mar 2010 03:22
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050205 Environmental Management @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9609 Land and Water Management > 960903 Coastal and Estuarine Water Management @ 100%
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