The study conducted by the Espirito Santo Foundation of Technology (Fest) features researchers from more than 24 institutions from all over the country
This September, the Espirito Santo Foundation of Technology (Fest) will start monitoring the biodiversity in 230 points of the entire Espirito Santo portion of the Doce River and the region that goes from its mouth to Guarapari (ES), to the south, and Porto Seguro (BA) to the north. The study, conducted by researchers of more than 24 research institutions across the country, will cover organisms from bacteria to whales, in addition to water quality, sediment, tidal and wave conditions, mangroves and restingas.
The research, the result of a cooperation agreement signed between the Renova Foundation and the institution from Espirito Santo, has a budget of R$ 120 million and will be executed for 16 months, a period related to the first stage of the marine monitoring program, scheduled to last five years. In July, the Renova Foundation paid the first installment of the agreement. The R$ 37 million will fund scholarships, purchase of national and imported equipment and materials, payment of personnel and contracting of third-party services.
There will be analyses of the concentration of contaminants in various organisms, including fish and shrimp. The results of the study will help to measure the impacts of the Fundao dam’s tailings on the environment and could provide support for fish sanity decision-making and indicate any remedial measures.
In this first year of the project, about 43 thousand samples of water, sediments, animals and plants will be collected. To carry out the monitoring, 565 professionals will be involved, among them academics, and priority will be given to the hiring of local workforce, such as fishermen and crab fishermen.
Drones, aircraft and small, medium and large vessels will be used, as well as sensors of various types, satellite images and automated buoys, equipped with specific instruments for this type of monitoring. In addition, university labs will be ready to analyze the samples.
Each semester, a workshop will be held to present the results, joined by environmental agencies.
Understanding the reach of the marine monitoring program in the Doce River mouth
230 monitoring points
24 research institutions
R$120 million of investment
16 months 1st phase of monitoring
43 thousand samples of water, sediments, animals and vegetation
About 200 professionals are monitoring the flora and fauna of the entire Doce River basin. Data are being collected of the most diverse organisms, from invertebrates – such as earthworms and bees – to large mammals such as tapirs and jaguars, including animals related to aquatic environments such as tortoises and alligators, and plants.
The monitoring is executed by the company Bicho do Mato Meio Ambiente, contracted by the Renova Foundation, and will be divided into semiannual campaigns that may be extended to up to ten years. Researchers will use the Rapeld method, which allows samples to be taken appropriately from biological communities over large areas, while reducing the variation in factors affecting these communities, such as temperature and humidity. This is the first time that the methodology is being used on such a large scale in the Doce River Basin.