The Use Of Environmental Sensitivity Indices (ESI) Maps For The Evaluation Of Oil Spill Risk In Mediterranean Coastlines And Coastal Waters
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F. Gugliermetti, F. Cinquepalmi & D. Astiaso Garcia
This paper presents a project devoted to identifying the environmental, historical and morphologically most sensitive and vulnerable priorities of the coastlines, with a view to providing decision-makers with sensitivity index maps for the planning of preventive actions and emergency responses in the event of an unforeseen outflow of hydrocarbons. The sensitivity index maps give information established by environmental sensitivity indices (ESI), represented in the maps with different lines and colours. Due to the considerable diversity in ecosystems and morphology in the Mediterranean and on account of the unique importance of the archaeological, historic and landscape sites along the Italian coastline, the decision was taken to extrapolate the ESI values on the basis of the matrices elaborated by Cinquepalmi et al (Prevention of hydrocarbons sea pollution: Sensitivity Index Maps for the Venice Lagoon as integral component of oil-spill contingency planning and response. Environmental Coastal Regions. WIT Transaction of Ecology and the Environmental volume 25. WIT Press, 1998) in a previous study with a similar aim on the Lagoon of Venice. With respect to the previous study a more simple core set of ESI was obtained from new matrices created in order to be used in the Mediterranean ecosystems: natural coastline, water stretches and artificial features. The resultant indices identify a single number that expresses all the qualitative and quantitative traits of the Italian coastline, both for land and seascapes, in clear maps of simple use. Environmental Sensitivity Maps offer a useful contribution to the prevention of pollution from oil spills and for combating the consequences of a possible accident along Mediterranean coastlines. They also constitute the most complete database, useful both for risk response and for an Integrated Coastal Zone Management. Keywords: Integrated Coastal Zone Management, hydrocarbons pollution and oil spills, environmental sensitivity index (ESI) maps, risk assessment.
Integrated Coastal Zone Management, hydrocarbons pollution and oil spills, environmental sensitivity index (ESI) maps, risk assessment.