Wspólnotowy Serwis Informacyjny Badan i Rozwoju - CORDIS

Result related to Ria Formosa

DITTY project produced important results for the knowledge of Ria Formosa. Several management tools were developed: a DataBase with information on the lagoon ecosystem (data sets for coastal waters, watershed, sediment, biota, climate) and a Geographical Information System (GIS) that was loaded with information on several environmental variables and administrative boundaries covering Ria Formosa and its watershed. The GIS was used as a two-way interface between environmental information and mathematical models coupling the watershed and the lagoon system. For the Ria Formosa watershed, the SWAT model was implemented, and successfully calibrated and validated for the Ria Formosa stream gauge stations. The SWAT model was used to force a coupled hydrodynamic-biogeochemical model of the lagoon with annual, monthly and daily freshwaters flows data.

The lagoon 3D model was implemented with "EcoDynamo", an object oriented modelling software developed during the project. In the future, this model will constitute an important scientific tool to support the lagoon management, since several management scenarios defined by policy-makers and end-users may be analysed allowing the optimisation of lagoon resources exploitation. The first step in joining scientists and Ria Formosa stakeholders was already been taken during the DITTY Project, through the organization of technical meetings to define priorities for the sustainable management of the lagoon. The management options analysis (focusing mainly on dredging operations and bivalve aquaculture) within a socio-economic perspective was one of the most important outcomes of the DITTY project, since the monetary evaluation of costs and benefits was developed for the Ria Formosa stakeholders and activities for the first time.

Utilisation of the SWOT analysis allowed identifying for the lagoon the Strengths and Weaknesses (internal factors which mainly depends on the stakeholders themselves) as well as the Opportunities and Threats (external factors which may influence the activity of the stakeholders). This approach provided useful guidelines and offered responses to local authorities (the Ria Formosa Natural Park and Ria Formosa municipalities) that may be used in the near future for planning the lagoon management. For example, the increasing bivalve culture density is not apparently a good management option, considering implications in water quality and reduction of bivalve growth. On the other hand, deepening of some channels seems to improve potentially both water and sediment quality. Another important information tool developed within the scope of the DITTY project was the Decision Support System (DSS), which is now available for the Ria Formosa Natural Park, the authority in charge of the lagoon management.

The DSS integrated environmental and economic approach, which was achieved through the application of the qualitative and quantitative project tools within a socio-economic context, aimed at supporting the lagoon exploitation and management. For the dissemination of DITTY results, Portuguese partners will promote workshops open to scientists, policy-makers, environmental associations and the public in general, and will install the information tools developed within the project in local servers. Another important outcome of the overall DITTY project was the creation of PLANET "the Portuguese LAgoon NETwork", which is a collaborative network for researchers and poeple working on lagoons that may help identifying future applications of the tools developed by the project to other Portuguese lagoons.

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