Guanabara Bay, Rio de Janeiro - Brazil

Basic Information
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Site Name
Guanabara Bay, Rio de Janeiro
Short name
Guanabara Bay
Site Manager
complex social-economic-ecological system
Lagoons, coastal wetlands and estuaries"
Site Description
Guanabara Bay (GB) is the second largest bay in the coast of Brazil (384 km2) (22o41 to 22o56 S ; 43o02 to 43o18 W). In its surroundings live 16 million inhabitants (6 million in Rio de Janeiro city). This system experiences steep spatial gradient from the entrance to inner bay. GB receives high load of nutrients and organic material from riverine sources and from domestic and industrial sewage inputs. As a consequence, this system is characterized as a high eutrophicate and polluted one. In spite of its poor environmental status, GB still presents many living resources who use the bay as a refuge, feeding and nursery grounds, with some of those species having commercial interest. An important characteristic of GB is the influence of South Atlantic Central Water, a deep, cold and rich nutrient water, that enters the bay during the Cabo Frio upwelling period. This phenomenon permits to maintain the bay at a relative good health level in its central part, in contrast with the marginal areas highly polluted. Although encroached on by urban expansion, the inner east margins of Guanabara Bay is still bordered by a 90 km2 fringing mangrove system, of which 43 km2 is an environmental protection area, Guapimirim.
Last modified
2019-12-03 04:12:51
General Characteristics, Purpose, History
Site Status
Year Established
The main goal of this proposal is to monitor, during the next decade, how key parameters of this system, namely biodiversity, production, and resilience of the planktonic, benthonic, and nektonic communities, will respond to the remediating actions that will be implemented by the Restoration Program of Guanabara Bay. This proposal will also include the socio-economic aspects related to the actions of the remediating program. This will be done through the analysis of socio-economic indicators, and through participatory process involving stakeholders.
Ecological studies in the Guanabara Bay began in the years 1980 with the establishment of the Department of Marine Biology at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro - UFRJ, Brazil. In 2009 the Brazilian LTER Program was established by the Ministry of Science and technology -CNPq, and the PELD Guanabara (PEBG - Long term ecological project at Guanabara Bay) was included as Site 19.
Guanabara Bay view
Ganabara Bay view
Mangrove structure at Guanabara Bay
Rocky shore at Guanabara Bay
Fishery at Guanabara Bay
Fishery at Guanabara Bay
Mangrove study at Guanabara Bay
Beach at Guanabara Bay
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Elevation (min)
Elevation (max)
Affiliation and Network Specific Information
LTER Brazil (LTER SAM BR 19)This site is a verified "LTER Brazil" member.

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