countries are experiencing the world’s most rapid population growth rates. Few have the resources—fiscal and technical—needed to construct, maintain, and operate the infrastructure needed to handle the wastes, particularly the human wastes, of their burgeoning populations. Typically, sewage is discharged raw into near coastal waters which causes a serious public health threat to bathers and to those who consume raw or partially cooked shellfish. The potential for major epidemiological outbreaks is high and growing.
There are other environmental impacts of discharging raw or improperly treated sewage into coastal waters, particularly into bays, estuaries, and lagoons. The added nutrients can produce eutrophic conditions leading to loss of submerged aquatic vegetation; to shifts in plankton assemblages; to degradation of coral reefs; and, in the extreme, to hypoxic or even to anoxic conditions. The most popular beaches and coastal environments and the tourists they attract are increasingly at risk.
The coastal areas at greatest risk are in developing countries. They can and should be identified now and steps should be taken to assist those countries in protecting them. Priority should be given to protecting those coastal areas that are still in good condition. Preventive environmental medicine is a far more effective and less costly strategy than restorative environmental medicine.
The National Shellfish Sanitation Program (NSSP) classifies shellfish-growing waters to protect public health. It is a cooperative program involving states, industry, and the federal government. Since 1983, the NSSP has been administered through the Interstate Shellfish Sanitation Conference. The NSSP requires states to classify shellfish-growing waters according to approved protocols into four categories: Approved, Conditionally approved, restricted, and prohibited.
Data from 1985 and 1990 are summarized in Table 9.1. The pollution sources affecting shellfish-growing areas in 1990 are summarized in Table 9.2.
The data in Table 9.2 indicate the effects of coastal development on classification of shellfish-growing areas between 1985 and 1990. According to NOAA (1991) the largest increases in closures are attributed to urban runoff increasing from 23 to 38 percent of harvest-limited waters. The acreage adversely affected by septic systems increased from 22 to 37 percent. NOAA attributed the increasing effects of septic systems to the continuing growth of tourism and vacation homes. The impacts of boating rose from 11 to 18 percent.
I am unaware of any systematic summaries of the trends of nutrients in U.S. coastal waters. I expect that levels in many estuaries are increasing, primarily because of increased populations. In Long Island Sound, over the past 50 years the non-point-source input of nutrients from agriculture has declined, but the non-point-source input from creeping suburbanization has increased. Over the same period, the point-source inputs from New York City treatment plants has been relatively stable, but non-point-sources in coastal counties bordering the sound have increased significantly. Over-enrichment of Long Island Sound by nitrogen is considered by the Long Island Sound Study to be the most important hazard to the sound ecosystem. In 1991, New York and Connecticut signed a pact to cap nutrient inputs at 1991 levels and to work to decrease the input. To maintain nutrient inputs to the sound at 1991 levels—levels that are already too high—a significant investment will be required in the future—even in a region that now has one of the slowest population growth rates in the nation. Schubel and Pritchard (1991) estimated that in the year 2050, it would require an additional removal of 20-25 percent of the nitrogen to honor the 1991 cap.
Waste Management in the ASEAN
Region: Status, Trends and Problems
Waste Management in the Coastal Area of Brunei Darussalam
Brunei Darussalam is situated on the
northwestern coast of the island of Borneo.
between east longitudes 1 14″ 23′ and 1 15″
23′ and between north latitudes 4″ and 5″ 5′.
It shares a common border with the eastern
Malaysian state of Sarawak, which cuts
across Brunei (Fig. 1).
The country’s high per capita income estimated
at US$17,000, the favorable balance of
payment and the relatively small population
has enabled the country to enjoy a high standard
of living. Since the discovery of oil in
1929, the country has gradually moved
towards an economy based on petroleum
exploitation which reached its zenith in the
late 1970s. With the government’s consemation
policy on petroleum extraction and the
interest in diversifying the economy, attention
has begun to focus on the industrial development
of other resources. Rapid industrialization,
urbanization and population
increases are bound to make additional
demands on all services, including those of
waste management. In anticipation of the
country’s future needs, the government has taken several steps to alleviate the waste
management problems. The recomrnendations
of several commissioned studies on
solid and liquid waste management have
been implemented or are being studied for
Geology, drainage, soils, climate, demography,
activity patterns in the coastal area and
other factors need to be considered because
they directly or indirectly affect waste management
in the coastal area.
In this paper. the term coastal area is
defined as “1 krn landward from shore
extending out seawards to the 20-fathom
isobath (Chou and Halidi 1987). In addition.
the estuaries of important rivers–Sg.
Temburong, Brunei, Tutong and Belait–and
areas reached by tides are considered part of
the coastal area (Fig. 2). Coastal area
management is vital for the protection and
conservation of the coastal environment.
The significance of the
Brunei Darussalam coastal area
Brunei Darussalam is a relatively small
coastal state in Southeast Asia with a 130-
km coastline bordering the South China Sea
(DOTCP 1987a). Its urban centers are coastal
and more than 85% of its population lives in
the coastal zone. Much of the economic
activities, including the country’s most
important economic activity, oil and gas
exploitation, occurs in this zone.
Economic and Social Benefits of the Coastal
Area. Many social and economic benefits are
derived from the coastal area which includes
the urban towns of Bandar Seri Begawan (the
capital city), Seria-Belait, Muara and Tutong.
Gross domestic product (GDP). In 1988,
economic contributions from the coastal area
constituted more than 90% of the total GDP
(at 1974 constant prices). The highest contribution
(59.5%) came from the oil and gas
industry. Other contributions came from
fisheries, mangrove harvesting, water transportation,
beach sand mining, agriculture,
other industries and services.
Employment. Employment generated by
economic activities in the coastal area is
approximately 81% of the total private sector
employment. But, the government remains
the most important source of employment in
Food. Approximately one-half of the fresh
fish and shrimp consumed in Brunei Darussalam
come from the local fisheries industry.
Vegetables, fruits, poultry and eggs (where
self-sufficiency has been attained) are produced
in the coastal area.
Foreign exchange. In 1986. oil and gas
contributed 97.18% of the total exports with
a total value of B$3.877 billion (EPU 1988).1
This has exceeded the import of food, goods