Study of the physico-chemical conditions and evaluation of the changes in eutrophication-related problems in El- Mex Bay
El- Mex Bay is a relatively large coastal embayment west of Alexandria. The bay is an important fishery ground as well as recreation area. It includes both the Western Harbor and Dekhaila Harbor. It is one of heavily polluted areas on the Egyptian Mediterranean coast, receiving huge amount of agricultural, industrial, and sewage wastes from the adjacent Lake Mariut through El- Umoum Drain. According to different estimations in literatures the volume of the wastewaters varied between 7 × 106 and 8 × 106 m3day-1, which is supposed to increase with the growing population density of Alexandria city. These conditions cause pronounced eutrophication and drastic changes. Eutrophication-related problems in El- Mex Bay of Alexandria were studied seasonally from autumn 2011 to autumn 2012. Geographical information system (GIS) and remote sensing techniques were used together with the ground-based surveys to assess the vulnerability of the most important physical and eutrophication parameters along El- Mex Bay coast. As a result of increasing population and industrial development, poorly untreated industrial waste, domestic sewage, shipping industry and agricultural runoff are being released to the bay. With the rapid increase in the industries and population, changes in water quality would have potential consequences for the large rapidly growing population of the Alexandria region. Recom-mendations for environmental recovery and restoration are proposed for preservation of El- Mex Bay and harbors in order to facilitate development of environmental and tourist activities.
Key words: El- Mex Bay, recreation area, El- Umoum drain, geographical information system (GIS), remote sensing, eutrophication, and restoration.