Understanding the effect of environmental and climate change on coastal lagoon management: The potential of Earth Observation.
Welcome to Lagoons for Life
Coastal lagoons are water bodies found along the coastline and are separated from the open sea by spits and sediment barriers with limited points of water exchange. “According to a classification by Kjerfve (1986), there are three types of coastal lagoons based on the number of entrance channels (inlets) and, thus, the degree of water exchange with the ocean: (a) choked, (b) restricted, and (c) leaky.
Choked lagoons have only one inlet, which restricts the influence of tidal currents and water level fluctuations in the lagoon. They can be either parallel to the shore or, when associated with river deltas, at a right angle to the shore. Restricted lagoons have two or more inlets and a well-defined tidal circulation, whilst leaky lagoons exhibit numerous inlets and are the most influenced by tidal currents in all three lagoon types. Both restricted and leaky are most usually oriented parallel to the shore.” (Source: Politi et al., 2016)
Coastal lagoons provide a plethora of ecosystem services, such as fisheries, aquaculture, storm protection and tourism (e.g. Newton et al., 2014, Rova et al., 2015, Sousa et al., 2016), and as a result they are hotspots of human settlement and activities.
Lying at the intersection between land and the ocean, coastal lagoons are influenced by both land input (e.g. nutrients, runoff, river management activities) and interaction with the sea (e.g. tides, sea pollution, erosion, storm surges and sea level change). Such dynamic systems are highly sensitive to environmental and climate change, but our understanding of how lagoons respond to change globally is limited.
Sea level rise already threatens shallow coastal lagoons such as the Venice Lagoon (UNESCO, 2011) and a plethora of pressures and drivers of change in lagoons, often with direct implications for societal well-being, have been identified (Newton et al., 2014).
Improving our understanding of how lagoons respond to change at local, regional and global scales is necessary to sustainably manage these ecosystems, and the ecosystem services they provide, and assess the socio-environmental implications of future development (Abigail et al., 2009).
Having recognised a data and knowledge gap in the systematic study of coastal lagoons, we propose to establish a Lagoons Forum that will study those vulnerable ecosystems holistically, by integrating environmental, social and economic datasets from multiple sources.
Through linking with international experts, stakeholders, researchers and scientists, we aim to co-design lagoon management strategies that address current and future issues in coastal lagoon ecosystems and their ecosystem services.
About Lagoons for Life
Understanding how coastal lagoons respond to change at local, regional and global scales is necessary to sustainably manage lagoons, and the ecosystem services they provide, and assess the socio-environmental implications of future development in the context of climate change.
Earth Observation (EO) plays a key role in environmental monitoring and long-term climate change studies, but considerable knowledge gaps exist in exploiting the full potential of EO for coastal lagoon research.
In September 2017, the European Space Agency (ESA) and Future Earth funded a workshop with the aim to explore some of these gaps, and facilitate joint research activities between the international Earth Observation and Coastal Zone Research communities.
As a result, a new scientific hub, the Lagoons Forum, was established. Originally formed by the 17 participants of the workshop under the auspices of international research organisations and programmes, we anticipate this community to grow in the coming years.
How to Join
If you would like to find out more about joining us, please send us an email via the button below.
View List of Case Studies
|GloboLakes ID||L4L ID||Name||Country(-ies)||Lon||Lat|
|410||410||SYVASH Lake, South||Ukraine||35.18666||45.42091|
|418||418||ABY||Ivory Coast; Ghana||-3.16085||5.218121|
|618||618||SAINT LUCIA||South Africa||32.46463||-28.0252|
|748||748||CALCASIEU Lake||United States||-93.3126||29.92336|
|1437||1437||TANSIN, Laguna de||Honduras||-83.9326||15.28418|
|1941||1941||VALLI DI COMACCHIO||Italy||12.17159||44.60923|
|2532||2532||NISSUM FJORD, BVLING FJORD, FELSTED KOG||Denmark||8.190208||56.35722|
|2927||2927||VARANO, Lago di||Italy||15.7474||41.8808|
|3025||3025||HOURTIN, Lac d'||France||-1.11226||45.13539|
|3171||3171||MARRYAT Inlet||United States||-166.508||68.37941|
|3196||3196||CAZAUX ET DE SANGUINET, TANG DE||France||-1.15574||44.48339|
|300001||SACCA DI GORO||Italy||12.316598||44.820251|
|300003||PATOS, LAGOA DOS||Brazil||-51.358066||-31.068207|
Lagoons for Life: Resources
Find out more about the Lagoons for Life project by joining our forum, or browsing our archive of data sources, publications, presentations and news.
In 2017 the International Lagoons Forum was established, with international representation.
Browse our archive of data sources, projects and initiatives, publications, and posters and presentations.
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If you are interested in the Lagoons for Life initiative and want to get involved please contact us.
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