Five different pilot areas in France, Greece, Spain, Egypt, and Tunisia were selected for the service development and demonstration throughout the Mediterranean region. They exhibit a variety of biogeographical and climatic features, while being influenced by different socioeconomic and political context.
Bay of Marseille and French Mediterranean Coast
The Bay of Marseille is located in the French coastal region of the Gulf of Lions, in the western part of the Mediteranean basin. The bay covers an area of approximately 20 km² bordered by the city of Marseille, which is the second largest city in France. The region encounters occasional but very intense rainfall events, with major discharges from inland into the coastal waters. Such land-based pollution is a major threat for many uses of the coast.
Thermaikos Gulf, Thessaloniki
Thermaikos Gulf occupies the north part of the Aegean Sea and is a semi-enclosed bay near the city of Thessaloniki. It is the biggest gulf of the Aegean Sea, with a coastline that exceeds 350 km in length. Its watershed has a human population of about 3,5 M inhabitants. It is considered a sensitive due to socioeconomic activities taking place in the greater area, such as agriculture, aquaculture, industry, tourism, fishing and trade, which directly affect the coastal system.
Mar Menor and surrounding area
Mar Menor is a hypersaline coastal lagoon located in the semi-arid Murcia Region of southeast Spain. It occupies an area of approximately 135 km2 with an average depth of 4 m. The agricultural and tourist activities developed in the surroundings of the lagoon, together with the modifications in its channels of connection with the Mediterranean Sea, have notably affected the quality of its waters, which is altering the natural balance of the ecosystem.
There are two main challenges that Nile Delta is facing. The first one is adaptation to climate change, where large portions are expected to be quite vulnerable to rising water levels in the Mediterranean through Integrated Coastal Zone Management is indispensable for achieving food security in Egypt. The second challenge is the highly politicized issue of potential decrease in water quantities and rich sediments in the Nile after the construction of the Blue Nile dam in Ethiopia are issues of great concern for decision makers in the region.
Tunis Gulf, Hammamet Gulf, Gabès Gulf
The Tunisian shore is 1,400 km in length. It concentrates the major part of the economic activities of the country. Tunisia has set targets to reach the expectations of a sustainable management of its coastal zone. Three main gulfs are particularly under pressure: Tunis Gulf suffers from galloping urbanization and strong touristic development; Hammamet Gulf is the first touristic destination of the country; Gabès Gulf is impacted by industrial effluents and shows extensive posidonia meadows that constitute a habitat for marine wildlife.