Mangrove Ecosystem Recovery and Restoration from Oil Spill in the Niger Delta: The GIS Perspective
In Nigeria, Mangrove's provide critical environmental and economic services, including maintaining water quality, serving as breeding grounds for important fish and crustacean, and as a source of food and materials. Yet, the country also has a history of oil spills that threaten these important ecosystems. In order to understand the effects of oil spills on mangroves, this study examines the land cover change of mangrove ecosystems in the Niger Delta between 1986 and 2008.
Research goals & methods
The study specifically focuses on the Remediation by Enhanced Natural Attenuation (RENA) approach, which was estabished in the oil spill response plan of Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC). The approach has had little scientific verification, thus the authors sought to both assess the techniques effectiveness and determine the time frame required for mangrove restoration. Two sites were chosen - one that undergone remediation and one that did not. The authors analyzed a range of data, including ground truthing technique with the aid of Global Positioning System (GPS), satellite imagery, oil spill record and oil spill map.
Conclusions & takeaways
The authors found that it took 13 to 14 years for a nonremediated mangrove ecosystem to recover after an oil spill while it too a remediated site only 7 years. The results also supported the RENA appraoch. The study concludes by stating that oil spillage can cause serious detriment to oil spillage has serious the health and growth of mangrove vegetation and that a GIS technique can be usefu in mangrove recovery after such an incident.
Mangrove Ecosystem Recovery and Restoration from Oil Spill in the Niger Delta: The GIS Perspective. Geoinformatics & Geostatistics: An Overview. 2013;s1(01). doi:10.4172/2327-4581.S1-017..
- Obafemi Awolowo University