The Fortaleza (NE Brazil) Waterfront: Port Versus Coastal Management


  • Luis P. Maia
  • Jose A. Jimenez
  • Jordi Serra
  • Jader O. Morais
  • Augustin Sanchez-Arcilla


Coastal zone management, port siltation, coastal erosion, coastal use conflicts, Fortaleza, Brazil


The coastal conflicts originated by the succesive implementations of a harbour along the Fortaleza coast (NE Brazil) during the last century are illustrated in this paper. Because all the designed layouts and the different locations selected for the harbour were done without considering the local coastal dynamics, the use itself was affected (port shoaling) and the system was rapidly degraded (coastal erosion). Since the economical benefits generated with the port was a priority for planners, solutions were mainly designed to optimize port exploitation without paying attention to the coastal response. The interest in mitigating the resource degradation appeared with the occurrence of extensive coastal damages and the nearly full disappearance of the beach in some stretches. Moreover, the appearance of a new coastal use, i.e. tourism, with a potential economic importance higher than the previous one, i.e. port, has originated a growing awareness in coastal zone management in the Fortaleza's "coastal" way of thinking.