Magazine article Americas (English Edition)

Coastal Cleanup

Magazine article Americas (English Edition)

Coastal Cleanup

Article excerpt

THE ISSUES ALONG Uruguay's expansive littoral zone are as complex as the landscape is enticing. Groves of pine and palm trees and clusters of German-style chalets dot miles of rolling sand dunes, lagoons, and beaches. Behind the inviting view, however, lies an increasing inventory of environmental concerns. Once-pristine lagoons are littered with trash; migratory bird habitat is under siege by the rapid pace of land development; improper disposal of human waste poses public health risks; poorly done construction is leading to increased erosion; and heavy siltation in the Rio de la Plata threatens the country's once-robust fishery and the livelihood of its commercial seafood industry.

The problems traditionally associated with human presence in coastal areas are amplified in this small country. Globally, close to 40 percent of the world's population lives within sixty miles of coastal regions. In Uruguay, meanwhile, almost 70 percent of the country's population is centered in jurisdictions along the Rio de la Plata and the Atlantic Ocean. Exacerbating the problem is internal migration: In the past decade, the relocation of people from the interior of the country to coastal zones has increased by over 100 percent. Officials responsible for the protection of this sensitive environment view with alarm the proliferation of development and pollution associated with such heightened human presence.

To the rescue is a project dubbed Eco Plata, an effort designed to achieve sustainable management of the country's coastal zone. Among the several primary objectives of the project are to develop scientific research on coastal-related environmental issues, strengthen the existing national institutions that are involved in the management of coastal resources, and improve the flow of information to the widest possible range of concerned parties, from local residents to government agencies and educational institutions. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.