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Oil spill detection and monitoring in the European Union Mediterranean and South West Atlantic coastal areas

Objective



General Information: The 5th Environmental Action Plan targets prevention of pollution in marine waters, emphasising prevention at source. Specific actions related to this aim focus on environmental damage from shipping and surveillance of high-risk areas with appropriate monitoring techniques. In the context of the pilot areas of this project being sensitive, and in view of the lack of existing effective monitoring, the aims and objectives of this proposal, which match those of the CEO in general, are highly relevant in pursuit of the Plan. The main aim of this project, therefore, is to process, disseminate and archive in a specifically designed database, near real-time information detailing specific oil pollution derived from satellite-based radar imagery for 4 high-risk pilot areas in the Western Mediterranean/Eastern Atlantic. In addition a parallel activity will collate historical 95-96 oil pollution event information into the database to provide a valuable source of information to policy makers. The project has been deliberately sized at the Western European level, however the approach now proven is directly transferable to the Eastern Mediterranean region and indeed to other seas. A balanced project team was co-ordinated by CETEMAR (ES) and provided a dynamic mix of commercial and research organisations to undertake the pilot-project activity. A team from Spain, Portugal, France, and Italy has been brought together to provide both direct and indirect access to end users. EOS (GB) have previously been involved in similar activities in Northern Europe and provide an essential technology transfer component to the project. An important aspect is the fact that the proposed pre-operational methodology has been based on an assessment of user requirements gathered as part of ongoing marine activities. This is achieved through direct contact with participating end users i.e. CEDRE (FR) and ENEA (IT), and close co-operation with SASEMAR (ES) and CILPAN (PT).
In the Pilot areas today oil pollution event information is obtained and made available in an ad-hoc fashion from casual observation of oil pollution events by agencies acting in isolation of any formal infrastructure or mandated policy. This project uses an innovative value-added service provided only by the DRA West Freugh receiving station (UK) in which European ERS and Canadian Radarsat SAR data is processed and visually sampled by operators in strip mode i.e. without producing a 'standard' product - only when an oil pollution event is registered will a product be produced. In this truly real-time service, immediately an oil pollution event was identified information was faxed to the national partners to initiate the appropriate response. In parallel pre-response information on the event was inserted in the database. Following the response activity the database was subsequently updated to include post-response status and information to complete the event record. During and after the response activity details were made available to the wider European public via Internet access to the database (via a link to the CEO EWSE). Finally, a series of workshops were organised by the project group in conjunction with the CEO to broadcast the activities and findings of the project and to stimulate further activity in the field of marine pollution management.
The project was divided into three Phases: Phase A Infrastructure Development:, Phase B Database Population, and Phase C Pilot Project all of which covered a 24-month schedule. This phasing of activities provided a structure from which milestones and clear deliverables have been easily derived. The project team believe that this represents a convincing and feasible project with clear scientific, technical, and economic benefits to the EC, which taken with properly balanced effort between the partners, adequate resources, and cost-effectiveness of the project, provided an exceptionally strong coupling to the aims and objectives of the CEO.

In the Pilot areas today oil pollution event information is obtained and made available in an ad-hoc fashion from casual observation of oil pollution events by agencies acting in isolation of any formal infrastructure or mandated policy. This project will use an innovative value-added service provided only by the DRA West Freugh receiving station (UK) in which European ERS and Canadian Radarsat SAR data is processed and visually sampled by operators in strip mode i.e. without producing a `standard' product - only when an oil pollution event is registered will a product be produced. In this truly real-time service, immediately an oil pollution event is identified information will be faxed to the national partners to initiate the appropriate response. In parallel preresponse information on the event will be inserted in the database. Following the response activity the database will be subsequently updated to include post-response status and information to complete the event record. During and after the response activity details will be made available to the wider European public via Internet access to the database (it is proposed to link the database to the CEO EWSE). Finally, a series of workshops will be organized by the project group in conjunction with the CEO to broadcast the activities and findings of the project and to stimulate further activity in the field of marine pollution management. The project is divided into three Phases: Phase A Infrastructure Development:, Phase B Database Population, and Phase C Pilot Project all of which covers a 24-month schedule. This phasing of activities provides a structure from which milestones and clear deliverables have been easily derived, The project team believe that this represents a convincing and feasible project with clear scientific, technical, and economic benefits to the EC, which taken with properly balanced effort between the partne-s, adequate resources, and cost-effectiveness of the project, provides an exceptionally strong coupling to the aims and objectives of the CEO.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

CETEMAR SL
Address
306,Calle Mallorca
08037 Barcelona
Spain

Participants (4)

CEDRE
France
Address
Rue Alain Colas
20604 Brest
Earth Observation Sciences Ltd
United Kingdom
Address
Victoria House, 23-27 South Street
GU9 7QU Farnham
FRESTI
Portugal
Address
Rua Duque De Palmela, 30 C/v
1250 - 098 Lisboa
ITALIAN AGENCY FOR NEW TECHNOLOGY, ENERGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT
Italy
Address
Forte S. Teresa
19100 La Spezia