The Black Sea is Getting Even Blacker!

Dear readers, today I would like to talk to you about a topic which is not very visible but every bit as interesting: the Black Sea. Tourism hotspot,strategic crossroad, source of countless myths and poems and home for many animals, the Black Sea is in grave danger because of a combination of man-made factors, such as the exploitation of oil and gas resources from the continental shelf, the pollution caused by shipping (the spillage of bilge water   and   fuel   or   naval   accidents), chemical   and   petrochemical   plants located   along   the   coastlines,   other heavy  industries,  shipyards   and   the phenomenon of coastal erosion, made worse by the dams that have been built on the Danube. 290px-Larg2

Water quality measurement stations installed at various locations on theBlack Sea’s shores tell us that during summer, the level of bacteria and other microorganisms in the water increases due to the higher number of tourists and   also because   the   Danube and   its tributaries   discharge analarmingly   high amount   of pollutants   in the   sea.   The   water   quality measurement stations operating on the Romanian littoral are (starting from the north and continuing southwards): Gura Buhaz, Cap Midia, FertilchimNăvodari, Constanța Nord Pescărie, Port Constanța – Berth 34, Berth 69,Berth 78, Berth 84 -86, Port Constanța Sud – island 5 m, Constanța SudPort Entrance – 20 m, Eforie Nord Belona, Eforie Sud-Southern seawall,Costinești, Avanport Mangalia and Vama-Veche. The stations record various chemical and physical parameters, such as pH(which ranged between 7.1 and 8.8, meaning that the water is neutral or slightly alkaline), seawater temperature (between 7.8 0C – 25 0C,depending on the season), salinity of coastal waters (with a 2009 average value of 14.3 g ‰, comparable to the value recorded in the previous year,of 14.08 g ‰).

At the stations installed at berths 84-86 and 34, where wastewater is discharged in the sea, salinity was lower, with values of12.34 g ‰, and 9.75 g ‰ respectively.Using data provided by the Apele Române National Water Administration(A.N.A.R.), the levels of dissolved oxygen in coastal areas vary between7.1 – 9.5 mg/dm3. The organic load of water, measured using the CCO-Mnand CBO5 methods, yielded values of 3.95 – 7.41 mg O2/dm3 (CCO-Mnmethod) and 1.05 – 1.92 mg O2/dm3 (CBO5 method). The highest values came from the stations located at Constanța Sud Berth 69 (4.75 – 76.68mg O2/dm3 CCO-Mn and 2.98 – 19.8 mg O2/dm3 CBO5). Phenols and detergents were found to be more abundant in seawater at the following stations:- detergents: Constanța Nord Fishery – at the shore – 0.16 mg/dm3; Berth34 – 0.245 mg/dm3; Berth 69 – 0.346 mg/dm3; Berth 78 – 0.179 mg/dm3;Berth 84–86 – 0.219 mg/dm3- Phenols: Berth 69 – 0.074 mg/dm3Among heavy metals, mercury was found at almost every monitoring station, with high values. The quantitative analysis of phytoplankton yielded the lowest values in the Eforie Sud Southern seawall (average values for phytoplankton biomass and taxon numbers of 44.56 mg/dm3 with a density of 31.375 ex/dm3) andCostinești stations (average values for phytoplankton biomass and taxon numbers of 40.71 mg/dm3 with a density of 13.593 ex/dm3).Thus, we can notice a series of alarming values for several water quality parameters in littoral areas, which can endanger both marine life and the population’s health, as it is also shown in the analysis carried out by the Romanian Ministry of Health, which, for the 2013 – 2017 interval,downgraded the quality of bathing waters from an average of “excellent” almost sites to an increasing number of locations which provide only a “good level of water quality”, because of the increasing presence of Escherichiacoli and Enterococcus microorganisms.All these excessive levels of pollutants lead to a decrease in commercial fish stocks, affect fish farming, determine a loss of habitats that serve as a foundation for biological resources, cause the disappearance of endangered species, determine the replacement of indigenous animals with exotic invading species, provide an inadequate level of protection for marine and coastal resources in the case of accidental pollution and offer inadequate conditions for tourists on the beaches and for bathing in the sea.To sum up, we can say that the Black Sea faces serious problems in terms of water quality, which cause difficulties for both wildlife and humans.Therefore, we advise you to be as kind as you can with the environment and do your best to help preserve it, so that we may keep the Black Sea in good shape and enjoy it for generations to come!

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Article written by Mitache Iulia Cristina, a 3rd year student of the Faculty of Geography, University of Bucharest, Department of Meteorology and hydrology, and translated by Mihail Andreas Mitoseriu.

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Acest user este dedicat tuturor colaboratorilor Greenly! Studenti, masteranzi, doctoranzi sau pur si simplu oameni din intreaga tara, din intreaga lume care impart aceeasi pasiune, ecologia. Si isi doresc sa-si imparteasca ideile prin intermediul revistei Greenly. Le multumim din toata inima!
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