Every season since the start of this project, the team at CEVA ventures out into the intertidal areas of the Ledano Mudflat, Côtes d’Armor, France to collect algal mat as well as sediment samples, and this summer was no different. By visiting the same areas seasonally, the team are able to collect samples that can provide data to monitor the trend in algal mat growth and re-growth, as well as changes in the nitrogen levels of the sediments.
Like many people, you might be asking why make all this effort – to wade through the intertidal mud in all weather; with various equipment to measure out sampling areas; rake-gathering green seaweed algal mat from these areas; and using muscle demanding efforts to return both seaweed and sediment samples back to the lab for analysis!
Well, the answer is that the excessive nutrients deposited in these areas over many years largely from human activities are resulting in eutrophication. As we know, the impact of eutrophication includes poor water quality and other less favourable environmental conditions that affect most wildlife that are dependent on these areas for feeding and breeding, such as waterbirds.
These investigations of the seaweed algal mat coverage as well as nature-based approaches to restore the water quality in these coastal areas will continue so stay tune for more updates.
CEVA photo moments – Summer Sampling of Seaweed Algal mat and Sediments