Send to

Choose Destination
Mar Pollut Bull. 2008;57(1-5):187-201. Epub 2007 Dec 3.

A report card and quality indicators for the Seine estuary: from scientific approach to operational tool.

Author information

Laboratoire Ecosystèmes Littoraux et Côtiers, FRE ELICO CNRS 2816, Université des Sciences et Technologies de Lille, Lille 1, Station Marine de Wimereux, Wimereux, France.


The scientific teams from the interdisciplinary Seine-Aval (SA) research program and the SA's operational pole, GIPSA (Groupement d'Intérêt Public Seine-Aval) have worked together to create a report card designed to help the Estuary Council (Conseil de l'Estuaire) revitalize its original functions: maintaining functional links between the various estuarine ecosystems, comprehending and managing the estuary's natural habitats and biological populations, and monitoring and improving the physical-chemical quality of the estuarine waters. The report card will be able to synthesize the information obtained from several system performance variables and available operational indicators. This approach, intended to guide the estuary managers, is the oeuvre of several scientific teams; it is particularly important in the context of the Water Framework Directive because it facilitates the elaboration of a group of relevant indicators, which can then be used as operational tools. A report card will provide decision-makers (e.g., political authorities; national, regional and local institutions and industries) with the key indicators for evaluating the system and predicting changes in terms of selected objectives, such as the preservation and restoration of the estuary's environmental functionalities. The final objective of the research is to choose among the available indicators to approximate potential ecological risks. Integrating the socio-economical data will perhaps lead to setting risk acceptability thresholds for the different uses of the Seine estuary. In the end, collaboration between the scientists, the managers, and the GIPSA operational pole will be essential to produce a viable report card about the environmental status of the Seine estuary. To illustrate the research now under way, this article presents the results for three actions undertaken, concerning: (i) physical indicators (i.e., an inventory of the estuary first as a whole, and then section by section); (ii) benthic indicators (i.e., seven indices which show a moderate EcoQ for the lower part of the estuary); and (iii) a eutrophication indicator (i.e., an indicator for coastal eutrophication potential (ICEP), which helps to limit the nutrient fluxes (N or P) that exceed the silica flux delivered by the Seine network, based on the Redfield ratios for algal propagation).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center