Coastal Water Monitoring on the Read Sea Coast of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Phase I. Makkah Region, Coasts of Jeddah On-ground Project of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia 2009/2010

 

1. Introduction
Monitoring of coastal and marine environment is one of the key tools in scientifically based marine and coastal resources management. It aims at defining ambient conditions and recording changes that may occur in the ecosystem due to natural and/or anthropogenic sources. Most of well developed countries have well established sustainable monitoring programs of their coastal and marine environments and consider such programs as important assists in marketing and managing their resources especially in recreation, tourism and living resources. In the less developed countries the situation is different. The value of monitoring is not fully appreciated and quite often it is considered an economic burden. However the value of environmental monitoring would be appreciated and its costs would be easily justified if it is kept in mind that monitoring is a source of important indicators for sustainable development and a means of early warning of changes that may occur in the ecosystem due to anthropogenic and natural sources and could be very costly if not even impossible to reverse.
1.1. Stresses affecting coastal and marine environment
Large marine ecosystems have developed to some kind of a steady state that is mainly controlled by the natural settings and atmospheric and oceanic temporal cycles. However gradual and abrupt changes in the ecosystems do occur due to a number of natural and anthropogenic stresses. Pollution may enter the coastal and marine environment in different ways, and factors that affect pollution are numerous. These factors are strongly related to pollution loads, wind intensity and direction, currents, water temperature and salinity and the geomorphology of the coastline. The major sources of pollution include domestic wastewater, industrial emissions and effluents, coastal waste disposal, offshore maritime sources and pollution loads carried by the wind and by watercourses coming into the sea. In simple classification stresses on the coastal and marine environment can be:
Natural stresses: such as periodic extreme low tides, opportunistic species outbreak, earthquakes, wave and extreme high tide action (tsunami) and periodic floods and fresh water runoff.
Anthropogenic stresses: such as pressure from population increases, including migration; and intensified uses, depletion of fish stocks and destructive fishing methods (traps, nets, spear-fishing, dynamite fishing, etc.), collection of corals and ornamental reef species, untreated domestic sewage and industrial effluent, excessive non-point source pollution, e.g., from agricultural runoff and contamination of aquifer, ship-based pollution including oil and invasive species, plastics and bilge water, land based and urban construction activities including dredging, filling, and increased siltation, breakage of corals by divers, watercraft and ships.
Thus monitoring of the marine and coastal environment is of a high strategic value for maintaining healthy ecosystems, keeping ecosystem health under regular check, scientifically based decisions in costal management and development purposes and for human health. All these factors are certainly of high economic value and justify establishing of sustainable monitoring programs. There are also more directly economically related justifications of monitoring. Some of these are: maintaining attractive, healthy and clean tourism and recreational facilities, settlement of disputes between industries sharing a geographic location in the case of pollution accidents resulting in economical losses, thus helping in specifying a polluter to be held responsible for the economic consequences. It is also important for determining fines and charges following the polluter pay principle.
Environmental monitoring reflects transparent governance and interactive management. It also builds mutual confidence and trust between neighbors at the division, firm, institution and country levels. Monitoring results must be made public. Thus they can be of a great value in environmental education and public awareness. With the increasing demand for tourism and the increasing share tourism is having in the global economy and national products, there is increasing environmental awareness and environmental concerns; and tourism markets are becoming progressively more critical about selecting destinations. Open access monitoring provides a very important window for promoting and marketing tourism, thus contributing directly and significantly to national incomes.
1.2. Current Status at Makkah Region
A preliminary investigation of PERSGA in 2006 showed that the main industrial discharge/point sources on the Saudi coast of the Red Sea are located in: Jeddah, Rabigh and Yanbu. Jeddah is the main coastal city along the eastern side of the Red Sea. It has a population of about 3,000,000 inhabitants. There are several desalination plants in Jeddah serving its population. Yanbu is another relatively large industrial coastal city on the eastern coast of the Red Sea with a population of about 250,000 inhabitants. According to the investigation there are six aerobic, secondary level Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs) with different capacities in Jeddah. The total capacity of these secondary STPs is 340,000 m3/d; of it 30,000 m3/d only is tertiary treated by reverse osmosis (RO) for reuse in irrigation. Except of the tertiary treated WW, the secondary treated sewage is discharged into the sea through an outfall system in the south of the city. In Yanbu industrial city, all population is connected to the sewerage network. STP in Yanbu is a tertiary level treatment plant of a capacity 27,000 m3/d. The treated wastewater is reused for irrigation. The quality of treated wastewater is not regularly documented, but it complies with PME and Royal Commission discharge direct standards. In Jazan, a sewage treatment plant has been constructed and the sewerage network was under construction so that the residential areas would be connected to the STP. The STP in Jazan has been constructed to meet the need of the full population of the city. It is a secondary level biological wastewater treatment plant.
The two main cities on the Saudi Arabia coast of Red Sea Jeddah and Yanbu host a variety of industrial facilities. Yanbu in particular is well-known for its Industrial City (YIC) of heavy industrial base. YIC has primary and secondary industries along the Red Sea coast including desalination plants, power plants, oil refineries and cement plants. Jeddah Industrial City (JIC) has small and medium size industries, such as packaging, food processing and beverages, chemical galvanizing, paint and textile. Both JIC and YIC have industrial wastewater treatment plants receiving and treating all of the industrial wastewaters originating from industries. The capacities of these Industrial Waste Water Treatment Plants (IWWTPs) are 28,000 m3/day (Yanbu) and 25,000 m3/day (Jeddah). The treated wastewaters from these two plants are discharged to the sea through outfall system. Tertiary level treatment facility is being constructed in Jeddah IWWTP for the reuse of the treated waters in industry in JIC.
Heavy urbanization and industrialization are continuously increasing along the Saudi Red Sea coasts. These are good indicators of flourishing economy; however their impacts on the marine and coastal environment cannot be ignored. Therefore baseline monitoring as well as point source monitoring are of significant importance. It is important to study areas still far from urbanization and industrialization to identify baseline characteristics of the Red Sea coasts in Saudi Arabia and to study coasts near moderately and heavily occupied areas to identify possible alterations in the basic characteristics. The importance of this type of research is well appreciated by decision makers and costal managers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. On top of its all other benefits, it will serve as an effective tool for the assessment of effectiveness of current management practices and suggesting necessary modifications of the existing ones and establishing new management and regulatory tools.
2. Monitoring efforts on the Red Sea Coast of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
In its efforts of establishing a sustainable regional monitoring program, PERSGA has collaborated with all member states and provided equipment and training specific to the country need in the year 2004. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was one of the leading countries and the regional training for participants from all PERSGA member states took place at King Abdul Aziz University. Immediately after the training in 2004 the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has initiated monitoring in three cities on the Red Sea Yanbu, Jeddah and Qonfodah (Figure 1).
Samples in Jeddah were collected in October 2004 and April 2005, samples in Yanbu were collected in May 2005 and December 2005 and samples in Qonfodah were collected in June, September and December 2005. The Saudi Arabian Monitoring Program of the Red Sea involved measurements of seawater salinity, dissolved oxygen, pH and the nutrients ammonia, nitrate, nitrite, phosphate and silicate.
2.1. Early monitoring results
2.1.1. Water salinity and dissolved oxygen
Seawater salinity and dissolved oxygen concentrations of the Saudi Arabian coast of the Red Sea for the years 2004 and 2005 are shown in Figure 2. Salinity records ranged mainly between 39.4 and 39.7. April 2005 records in Jeddah exhibited somehow lower values. Otherwise no clear trends could be noticed neither in different months of the year nor in different stations. Dissolved oxygen concentrations ranged mainly between 190 μM and 205 μM. There were no clear patterns in the concentrations that could be related to years, months or stations.

2.1.2. Nutrients
Concentrations of the nutrients μM of nitrate, nitrite, phosphate and silicate are shown in Figure 3 and Figure 4. All nutrient concentrations in Jeddah were higher in April 2005 than in October 2004. In Yanbu the only consistent pattern observed was that phosphate concentrations were higher in May 2005 than in December 2005. In Qonfodah nitrate and phosphate were consistently higher in June 2005 than in September and December 2005. Silicate tended to show a similar trend but not in all occasions and nitrite showed no regular trend.

3. The Present Project: Monitoring efforts in 2009

3.1. Basic Seawater Characteristics of the Saudi Red Sea Coast
Pursuant to the kind approval of His Royal Highness Prince Turky Ben Naser Ben Abdul Aziz the President General of the Presidency of Meteorology and Environmental Protection and in full coordination with the Presidency PERSGA has collected coastal water samples from nine cities along the Red Sea coast of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in conjunction with the coral reef survey that took place during the last week of December 2008 and the first week of January 2009. The purpose of this limited monitoring was to provide records of a number of basic coastal water characteristics in front of urban sites on the Saudi coast of the Red Sea, to be used as records in a report of indicators for sustainable management. Samples have been collected from Haql, Maqna, Duba, Umm Lajj, Mastura, Jeddah, Al Lith, Assir and Farassan. Samples have been analyzed for the nutrients nitrate, nitrite, phosphate, and silicate. In addition the water temperature and pH have been recorded.

The records collected at these nine urban sites are of highly significant importance. However, it is to be emphasized that a single time record of seawater characteristics remains limited in giving a clear picture of the environmental conditions and needs to be supported by repeated measurements to enforce its significance. To this effect, PERSGA has suggested establishing a full monitoring program on the entire Saudi coast of the Red Sea that would be implemented on phases, and the suggestion has met the kind approval of His Royal Highness Prince Turky Ben Nasser Ben Abdul Aziz, the President General of Meteorology and Environmental Protection in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; reference His Royal Highness kind letter number 8/27/2008 dated 6/2/1430 H.

3.1.1. Sampling Stations and Collection of Samples
Samples have been collected in front of nine urban sites along the Saudi coast of the Red Sea. One sample has been collected in duplicate at every city, except in Jeddah where two samples have been collected. Sampling codes and coordinates are summarized in Table 1 and the main sampling cities are presented in Figure 5.

Samples have been collected in polyethylene bottles at about 50cm depth below surface. Immediately after collection samples have been kept on ice in a tightly closed ice box.

Table 1. Sampling codes and coordinates along the Saudi coast of the Red Sea

Sample Code

Sampling Date

Latitude

Longitude

Haql

26/12/2008

29°21'14.50"N

34°57'20.99"E

Maqna

27/12/2008

28°24'53.27"N

34°44'43.94"E

Duba

28/12/2008

27°32'43.24"N

35°31'53.97"E

Umm Lajj

29/12/2008

24°59'50.21"N

37°16'45.61"E

Mastura

30/12/2008

23°03'04.68"N

38°46'47.85"E

Jeddah 1

05/1/2009

21°38'40.00"N

39°06'01.56"E

Jeddah 2

05/1/2009

39°06'18.70"N

39°06'18.70"E

Al Lith

06/1/2009

20°08'56.01"N

40°14'00.60"E

Assir

07/1/2009

18°22'35.98"N

41°26'52.34"E

Farasan

08/1/2009

16°43'26.77"N

41°48'03.41"E

 

3.1.2. Results
Samples have been analyzed at the laboratories of the Faculty of Marine Sciences at King Abdul Aziz University. Standard seawater analysis methods have been followed. Recorded variables of the coastal water samples are summarized in Table 2 and presented in Figures 6 and 7.
Table 2. Records of seawater temperature (oC), pH and concentrations (μM) of nitrate, nitrite, phosphate and silicate on the Red Sea coast of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia during late December 2008 and early January 2009

Sample Code

Temperature

pH

Nitrate

Nitrite

Phosphate

Silicate

Haql

22

8.23

0.49

0.06

0.14

1.13

Maqna

23

8.28

0.64

0.04

0.11

1.43

Duba

24

8.22

0.49

0.04

0.07

1.15

Umm Lajj

25

8.23

0.69

0.05

0.18

1.17

Mastura

26

8.30

0.66

0.05

0.11

1.41

Jeddah 1

27

8.27

0.53

0.05

0.20

1.48

Jeddah 2

27

8.33

0.52

0.04

0.18

1.43

Al Lith

28

8.25

0.51

0.04

0.20

1.30

Assir

29

8.45

0.58

0.05

0.27

1.44

Farasan

29

8.30

1.14

0.51

0.51

1.53

3.2. Long term Detailed Monitoring Program
Since the Saudi coastline is too long and passes through several administrative regions, it would be difficult to initiate a sustainable coastal monitoring program in one shot. The long term monitoring program was initiated at Makkah Region focusing on the coast of Jeddah. This will then be expanded to cover all coastal cities in Makkah Region and to be a model to follow at other regions. The main role of PERSGA is in establishing the program. Once the program is well established it should be run by the Responsible Authority in collaboration with interested stakeholders, mainly in the coastal areas. During the course of establishing the program, sustainable partnerships and funding sources will be identified.
3.2.1. Objectives
The main objectives of the long term monitoring program are to:

  1. identify the current baseline status of coastal waters
  2. identify possible temporal or spatial trends in coastal water characteristics
  3. identify possible sites where the coastal water characteristics might have been modified
  4. discus the monitoring results in view of management practices and recommend remedial action if needed where and when necessary
  5. create partnership between the responsible authorities and different stakeholders that would assure the wider coverage and sustainability of the program
The project consists of three main phases: identification of the project and initiation of the monitoring program, ongoing monitoring and building of the project’s partnerships; and reporting and recommendations fro sustainability of the monitoring program and securing sustainable funding. Phase one has started pursuant to directions of his Royal Highness Prince Turky Ben Nasser Ben Abdul Aziz, the President General of Presidency of Meteorology and Environmental Protection to collect and analyze sample from urban areas on the Red Sea coast. Samples have been collected at urban sites from 9 coastal cities with two sites taken in Jeddah. These have been analyzed and their results provided to PME (sec 3.1.2). This phase included also the preparation of the project identification document. The second phase of ongoing monitoring and building of project’s partnerships is the current phase, where the first set of samples have been collected in July 2009, and analyzed at the laboratories of Marine Science Faculty at King Abdul Aziz University. The third phase of reporting and recommendations for sustainability of the monitoring program and securing sustainable funding will extend till the summer of 2010 in order to include sampling in two more seasons winter and spring. The revised project’s milestones are summarized in Table 3.

 

Table 3. Revised project’s milestones

Milestone

Jan 09

Feb 09

Mar 09

Apr09

May 09

Jun09

Jul 09

Aug 09

Sep09

Oct 09

Nov 09

Dec 09

Jan 10

Mar 10

Jul 10

Project initiation and identification

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ongoing monitoring & partnership

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reporting and sustainable funding

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.2.3. Monitoring variables, sites and frequency
Monitoring of the coastal environment at Makkah Region focuses on the basic monitoring variables. These are the variables that have been reported in 2004 and 2005 and early 2009 and include visual observations, seawater temperature, salinity, transparency, dissolved oxygen concentration, pH and concentrations of the nutrients ammonia, nitrate, nitrite, phosphate and silicate, as well as chlorophyll a.
The Red Sea is known for strong seasonality in its physical and biogeochemical characteristics. Therefore the monitoring program is designed to cover the three main seasons: Spring (March – April), Summer (July – August) and Winter (December – January). Summer samples have been collected in July 2009, The collected samples covered 12 coastal stations spanning about 100 km in addition to one reference station 3 km offshore in the middle of the sampling range (Figure 8). These samples were originally suggested to be equidistantly distributed to serve the purpose of defining the baseline characteristics. However during the sampling process some site specific factors led to some modifications of the original plan.

3.2.4. Description of the sampling sites and revised map of the sampling stations

Samples have been collected in polyethylene bottles at about 30cm depth below surface, generally all samples have been collected from locations in which the water depth is about 5 m. Seawater temperature, dissolved oxygen and salinity were directly recorded at each site. Other variables were measured at the laboratories of the Faculty of Marine Sciencesat King Abdul Aziz University.
Samples have been collected in two cruises (Saturday, July 18th and Tuesday July 20th 2009). In the first cruise eight samples were collected covering the first six sites (sites 1 to 6) representing the southern part of the coasts of Jeddah, in addition to the reference sample. An additional sample was collected between sites 5 and 6 and given the code 5a. In the second cruise six samples were collected (sites 7 to 12) representing the northern parts of Jeddah coast. A summary of the sampling sites and sampling conditions is presented in Table 4. Sampling sites are geo-referenced and given special codes to serve the purpose of establishing a national database of the long term coastal and marine monitoring program.
Actual sampling sites are shown in Figure 9 and a brief description is given below:
Jed0 (Reference Station): this station was selected to serve as a reference station, located in the middle of the sampling range, about 3 km offshore
Jed1 Badee'a: the southernmost station on the coasts of Jeddah, a shallow area near a municipal wastewater outfall. The sample has been collected in the vicinity of the outfall.
Jed2 (Khumra outfall): this station is located at khumra outfall, another municipal wastewater outfall, the area is also shallow. The sample has been collected in the vicinity of the outfall.
Jed3 (Naval Base): this sampling station lies next to a small island to the south of Jeddah port
Jed4 (Jeddah Port): this station is located to the north of Jeddah port, the sample was collected from further point from the shoreline, due to the constructions there
Jed5 (Kornish): this sampling station lies to the south of the desalination plant, the sample has been collected a few meters from the shoreline
5a (Nawras outfall): this station is located to the north of Jeddah desalination plant, next to an outfall discharging water from the desalination plant
Jed6 (Sail Island): this sampling station lies in front of public cafes next to the northern corniche
Jed7 (Sharm Obhor) this station comes directly at the entrance of Sharm Obhor
Jed8 (Ream Beach), Jed9 (Bohairat City), Jed10 (North Obhor) and Jed11 (Durat Al Arus): these sampling stations are located in front of public beaches
Jed12 (Ras Hateba): the northernmost sampling station, a relatively shallow area

 

Table 4. Sampling site geo-reference of the Saudi National Monitoring Program

No

Date

Time

Station

Code

Name

Lat.

Long.

1

18/07/09

10:20 AM

Jed0

Reference

21°38.856' N

39°05.188' E

2

18/07/09

9:05 AM

Jed1

Badee'a

21°16.601' N

39°06.426' E

3

18/07/09

9:18 AM

Jed2

Khumra

21°19.343' N

39°05818' E

4

18/07/09

9:30 AM

Jed3

Naval Base

21°23.571' N

39°07.891' E

5

18/07/09

9:38 AM

Jed4

Jeddah Port

21°29.165' N

39°08.836' E

6

18/07/09

9:47 AM

Jed5

Kornish

21°33.422' N

39°06.595' E

7

18/07/09

9:55 AM

5a

Nawras

21°35.421' N

39°06.262' E

8

18/07/09

10:10 AM

Jed6

Sail

21°37.669' N

39°06.119' E

9

20/07/09

8:19 AM

Jed7

Sharm Obhour

21°42.475' N

39°05.035' E

10

20/07/09

8:26 AM

Jed8

Ream Beach

21°44.738' N

39°03.557' E

11

20/07/09

8:37 AM

Jed9

Bohairat City

21°49.120' N

39°00.761' E

12

20/07/09

8:47 AM

Jed10

North Obhour

21°52.874' N

38°58.052' E

13

20/07/09

9:00 AM

Jed11

Durat Al Arus

21°56.101' N

38°56.994' E

14

20/07/09

9:10 AM

Jed12

Ras Hateba

21°59.192'N

38°55.236' E

3.2.5. Results
3.2.5.1. Field measurements
The field measured variables salinity, temperature, dissolved oxygen and pH are summarized in Table 5 and presented in Figure 10. No clear trend could be noticed for any of these variables among different stations, the temperature ranged between 29.7 and 30.4 °C with an average of 29.9 °C, while the concentration of dissolved oxygen ranged between 4.85 and 5.54 mg/l and the dissolved oxygen saturation concentration ranged between 6.05 and 6.12, pH records ranged between 8.21 and 8.37, salinity records were almost constant with a very slight variation between 38.7 and 38.9.

Table 5. Sampling conditions and field measured variables

Code

Name

Temperature

pH

Salinity

Dissolved O2

Dissolved O2 saturation concentration

Jed0

Reference

29.8

8.31

38.7

5.10

6.11

Jed1

Badee'a

29.7

8.32

38.8

4.97

6.12

Jed2

Khumra

30.1

8.34

38.7

4.95

6.08

Jed3

Naval Base

29.8

8.35

38.9

5.01

6.11

Jed4

Jeddah Port

29.7

8.34

38.8

4.98

6.12

Jed5

Kornish

29.8

8.32

38.7

5.21

6.11

5a

Nawras

30.2

8.37

38.7

5.10

6.07

Jed6

Sail island

29.8

8.32

38.8

5.20

6.11

Jed7

Sharm Obhour

30.1

8.37

38.8

5.54

6.08

Jed8

Ream Beach

29.8

8.34

38.7

5.29

6.11

Jed9

Bohairat City

29.7

8.34

38.9

5.30

6.12

Jed10

North Obhour

29.8

8.35

38.7

5.23

6.11

Jed11

Durat Al Arus

30.2

8.25

38.9

4.96

6.07

Jed12

Ras Hateba

30.4

8.21

38.9

4.85

6.05

3.2.5.1. Laboratory analysis: nutrients and chlorophyll a
Concentrations of nitrate, nitrite, phosphate, silicate and chlorophyll a are summarized in Table 6 and shown in figure 11. Individual variables are shown in Figure 12. Samples from Kornish, Jeddah port, Ras Hateba, and Badee'a sites showed relatively higher nitrate concentrations than other sites, with the highest nitrate concentration of 1.43 µM in the sample from Kornish. Which is about 71 times as much as the reference (0.02 µM), Nitrate concentration in the sample in front of the naval base was identical to the reference offshore station.
A similar pattern is observed in nitrite concentrations, but with slight changes. The highest nitrite concentrations were found in the samples Near Jeddah port with the value of 0.46 µM, about 50 times higher than the reference sample (0.01 µM). Samples from Kornish, Ras Hateba, and Nawras were also slightly higher than other sampling sites, otherwise no considerable differences have been observed among the other sites.
On the other hand, phosphate concentrations at five sampling sites, namely; Badee'a, Khumra, Jeddah port, kornish and Nawras, were higher the other sites. However, the sample taken at Khumra showed the highest phosphate concentration among all sites with the value of 2.07 µM, which is more than 20 times higher than the reference concentration (0.1 µM).
Silicate concentrations were comparable at all sites, with an average value of 2.03 µM. Only four sites showed slightly higher silicate concentrations than the other sites, namely; Khumra, Jeddah port, Kornish and Nawras, with the highest value found at Nawras (4.04 µM) which is about 4.5 times the reference concentration (0.89 µM).
Concentrations of chlorophyll a ranged between 0.23 and 9.92 ug l-1. With the highest concentration recorded in the vicinity of Jeddah Port. Samples taken near Badee'a, Khumra and Kornish were relatively higher than other stations. Five of the sampling stations exhibited chlorophyll concentrations similar to that recorded at the reference offshore station.

Table 6. Nutrients and chlorophyll a concentrations

Code

Name

Nitrate

Nitrite

Phosphate

Silicate

Chlorophyll a µg.l-1

Jed0

Reference

0.02

0.01

0.10

0.89

0.23

Jed1

Badee'a

0.39

0.05

0.39

1.13

2.68

Jed2

Khumra

0.13

0.05

2.07

3.92

1.81

Jed3

Naval Base

0.02

0.01

0.07

1.58

0.37

Jed4

Jeddah Port

0.88

0.46

0.48

3.45

9.92

Jed5

Kornish

1.43

0.15

0.58

2.94

1.19

5a

Nawras

0.09

0.08

0.28

4.04

0.30

Jed6

Sail island

0.06

0.03

0.13

1.37

0.25

Jed7

Sharm Obhour

0.05

0.02

0.07

1.31

0.25

Jed8

Ream Beach

0.20

0.04

0.11

1.90

0.45

Jed9

Bohairat City

0.10

0.03

0.10

1.49

0.27

Jed10

North Obhour

0.17

0.01

0.07

1.43

0.33

Jed11

Durat Al Arus

0.22

0.06

0.06

1.78

0.29

Jed12

Ras Hateba

0.77

0.11

0.11

1.25

0.29

3.2.6. Discussion
It is probably too early to discuss the results at this early stage of the project and after one sampling event only. However comparison of the summer nutrients and seawater temperature records with the results recorded in January suggests some seasonal effects. This will become clearer after the second sampling planned in January 2010.

Another note worth mentioning is that some coastal stations exhibited clear modifications from the reference offshore station while others were similar or sometimes identical. This may indicate some effect of coastal activities. This is however localized and its significance can be determined only after repeated records. Sites that have shown higher modifications from the reference station are mainly Jeddah Port, Al Khumra, Al Kornish and Al Nawras, A general pattern also is that the southern Jeddah coast is more influenced by human activities than the northern coast.

4. Following steps

As stated above section 3.2.2; the project consists of three main phases: identification of the project and initiation of the monitoring program, ongoing monitoring and building of the project’s partnerships; and reporting and recommendations fro sustainability of the monitoring program and securing sustainable funding. We are currently in phase 2 ongoing monitoring and building of the project’s partnerships. Now that the first sampling has been conducted successfully and a system introduced to Saudi specialists participating in the program, it is time to have wider participation in the project. Therefore it is suggested herein that a workshop joining the different stakeholders would be organized. The purpose of the workshop is to publicize the project and introduce decision makers and coastal managers to it. The further objective of the workshop is to build partnership for sustainable implementation of a long term Saudi Arabian National Monitoring Program. It will also be a step forward towards expanding the project spatially to include sites outside Makkah Region and have other laboratories involved in the measurements such as those of King Abdu Allah University.

The Regional Organization for the Conservation of the Environment in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden