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Water Quality during the Recreational High Season for a Macrotidal Beach (Ajuruteua, Pará, Brazil)

Rubem M. C. Pessoa, Luci C.C. Pereira, Rosigleyse C. Sousa and Rauquírio M. Costa
Journal of Coastal Research
Special Issue No. 75: Proceedings of the 14th International Coastal Symposium, Sydney, 6-11 March 2016. Vol. 2 (March 2016), pp. 1222-1226
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/43752458
Page Count: 5
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Abstract

Coastal tourism in the Brazilian Amazon region is limited by logistic problems and climatic conditions, with recreation being concentrated in the school vacation period and bank holiday weekends. The present study evaluated the temporal variation in recreational, climatological, hydrodynamic, and microbiological processes among two bank holiday weekends and one weekend during the summer school vacation in July. One weekend was the Easter bank holiday in the rainy season in April, and the second was Brazilian Independence day, in the dry season in September. Data on hydrodynamics (tides and waves), climate (rainfall), and microbiological parameters (thermotolerant coliform levels) were collected, and the number of visitors was recorded every 3 hours between 07:00 h and 19:00 h (Friday through Monday), during each study period. The largest numbers of bathers were recorded during the dry season (July followed by September). The high precipitation levels recorded during the rainy season resulted in a reduced number of visitors and consequently low concentrations of thermotolerant coliforms. High rainfall rates are typical of Amazonian beaches and affect recreational activities. While there is no basic sanitation in the study area, the low concentrations of thermotolerant coliforms indicate that the water was safe for bathers In April and September. During the July vacation, however, high concentrations of beachgoers resulted in the contamination of the water, which was unsafe for bathing. Given this situation, management measures are urgently needed to increase the recreational quality of the beach and improve the water quality during the school vacation period.

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