The Civitavecchia Coastal Environment Monitoring System (C-CEMS): a new tool to analyze the conflicts between coastal pressures and sensitivity areas
Abstract. The understanding of the coastal environment is fundamental for efficiently and effectively facing the pollution phenomena as expected by the Marine Strategy Framework Directive, and for limiting the conflicts between anthropic activities and sensitivity areas, as stated by Maritime Spatial Planning Directive. To address this, the Laboratory of Experimental Oceanology and Marine Ecology developed a multi-platform observing network that has been in operation since 2005 in the coastal marine area of Civitavecchia (Latium, Italy) where multiple uses and high ecological values closely coexist. The Civitavecchia Coastal Environment Monitoring System (C-CEMS), implemented in the current configuration, includes various components allowing one to analyze the coastal conflicts by an ecosystem-based approach. The long-term observations acquired by the fixed stations are integrated with in situ data collected for the analysis of the physical, chemical and biological parameters of the water column, sea bottom and pollution sources detected along the coast. The in situ data, integrated with satellite observations (e.g., temperature, chlorophyll a and TSM), are used to feed and validate the numerical models, which allow the analysis and forecasting of the dynamics of pollutant dispersion under different conditions. To test the potential capabilities of C-CEMS, two case studies are reported here: (1) the analysis of fecal bacteria dispersion for bathing water quality assessment, and (2) the evaluation of the effects of the dredged activities on Posidonia meadows, which make up most of the two sites of community importance located along the Civitavecchia coastal zone. The simulation outputs are overlapped by the thematic maps showing bathing areas and Posidonia oceanica distribution, thus giving a first practical tool that could improve the resolution of the conflicts between coastal uses (in terms of stress produced by anthropic activities) and sensitivity areas.