LIFE BELOW WATER

Introduction


The world’s oceans – their temperature, chemistry, currents and life – drive global systems that make the Earth habitable for humankind. How we manage this vital resource is essential for humanity as a whole, and to counter balance the effects of climate change.

Over three billion people depend on marine and coastal biodiversity for their livelihoods. However, today we are seeing 30 percent of the world’s fish stocks overexploited, reaching below the level at which they can produce sustainable yields.

Oceans also absorb about 30 percent of the carbon dioxide produced by humans, and we are seeing a 26 percent rise in ocean acidification since the beginning of the industrial revolution. Marine pollution, an overwhelming majority of which comes from land-based sources, is reaching alarming levels, with an average of 13,000 pieces of plastic litter to be found on every square kilometre of ocean.

The SDGs aim to sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems from pollution, as well as address the impacts of ocean acidification. Enhancing conservation and the sustainable use of ocean-based resources through international law will also help mitigate some of the challenges facing our oceans.

With around 240 kilometres of coastline, Lebanon’s coastal zone is a key element of its natural capital, beauty and tourist attraction. Regardless, a lack of protection measures are negatively affecting these ecosystems and the species living in them.

The oil spill that happened mid February has impacted Lebanon shore severely especially Tyre Beach. Unfortunately, no serious action was taken to remove the tars that are expected to cause a huge damage to turtles, swimming season and fishing!


SPE Beirut Section in collaboration with its three affiliated students chapters (SPE BAU, SPE LAU, and SPE LU Roumieh Chapters) are organising a cleaning day of Tyre Beach this April 3rd at 10 am.


That's why volunteers from all over Lebanon are needed to help during this day. All cleaning equipment will be provided.

To register sign up using the following link:

https://lnkd.in/emY6Ejm

For more information, contact us at

hsg_99@hotmail.com

s.mostafa@bau.edu.lb

kassem.alokla@hotmail.com

Be many!

Our environment is waiting for us!

#wearespe

Society of Petroleum Engineers International

Environmental Studies


Environmental Protection Act (1986) defined “Environment as the sum total of water, air and land, their interrelationship among themselves and with the human beings, other living beings and property”. One of the most important disciplines included in environmental studies is the environmental science which is the scientific study of environmental system (air, water, soil and Land) including any changes and damages that result from human interaction with the environment. Human activities polluting the natural resources worldwide. Lebanon like other countries in the region is suffering from major pollution crisis that is affecting both its aquatic and land resources. Understanding the scientific basis of our environmental science is vital to find solutions to these problems to protect the environment and then preserving our nature.

1- Environmental and Anthropogenic Effects on Radiocarbon Distribution in Lebanon

This research aimed to determine the radiocarbon content in annual plants growing in rural areas distributed along villages located in the surrounding of a cement factory at Mount Lebanon province. This determination was carried out at different environmental conditions in order to study the factors affecting this content in clean zones, and to map C-14 distribution. As well as, this study also quantified the depletion of radiocarbon in polluted zones in order to assess the anthropogenic impact caused by fossil fuel combustion or Suess effect in urban and industrialized areas.

2- Occurrence and levels of pesticides in South Lebanon water

This study reviewed the detection of pesticides in different surface and groundwater samples collected from South Litani region in South Lebanon using an optimized and validated solid phase extraction method followed by gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry. Organochlorine and organophosphate pesticides were mostly noted at levels below the recommended value for individual pesticide in water except pirimiphosmethyl that was recorded at 300.87 ng L−1 in groundwater sample, designated for drinking water and collected in February. DDE concentration exceeded 100 ng L−1 in both surface and groundwater in October. The reported results represent the first Lebanese statistical data illustrating the quantification of pesticides in water over a period of time. More importantly, it draws attention to the need of pesticides’ monitoring programs in the Lebanese water resources.


3- Decolorization of Synthetic Dyes by Bacteria

A new potent Lebanese bacterial isolate, B. licheniformis HE, was able to remove 99.8% of MB color. The finding of the phytotoxicity study manifested the detoxification of decolorized MB, which declared the possible utilization of B. licheniformis HE for the bioremediation of dye containing wastewater.


4- Biocontrol of Plant Pathogens

Pseudomonas sp. DHZ2 and Stenotrophomonas sp. DHZ1 were isolated from tomato rhizospheres along the Lebanese coast and tested for their inhibitory effects on Fusarium sp. and Botrytis sp. The suppressive metabolites produced belonged to the siderophore group and showed maximal activities in fungal growth bioassay at neutral and alkaline pH. These antifungal agents were also highly regulated by iron and phosphorus, which is a distinctive feature of phenazine used in controlling the plant diseases.


5- Keratin Degradation by Bacteria

Keratinous wastes generated from various industries are increasingly accumulating in the environment. Bacillus licheniformis L. was isolated from soil collected from a Lebanese poultry barn. Purified feather meal and keratin solution were successfully prepared from feathers. Optimization of the factors affecting keratin-degradation and keratinase production was achieved using Plackett Burman design. Determination of amino acids formed in degraded feather and partial purification of the crude enzyme were also determined.


6- Detection of Microbial Contamination in Some Lebanese Schools

A comparative study of indoor contamination in three private and three official schools in Aley, Lebanon was conducted. Sampling was performed in each school, from the air, desk-surfaces of classes and water taps of bathrooms, for the evaluation of microbial contamination. Official schools showed to be highly contaminated with respect to private schools. Among the three educational levels, the elementary level was the most contaminated.


7- Environmental Factors Affecting the Microbial Degradation of Phenol

The isolated Lebanese Candida tropicalis H was able to degrade (after optimization of the nutritional and environmental factors affecting phenol degradation process) 99.91 % of 2000 mg/l phenol within 3 days. A phytotoxicity study revealed that the biodegradation of phenol resulted in its detoxification, which indicated a possible use of phenol containing-effluents in the irrigation of plants after bioremediation process.


8- Marine Water Quality and Risk Assessment Along Tyre Lebanese Coast

The physical, chemical, and microbiological characteristics of seawater along Tyre city coastline, Southern Lebanon, were studied in order to assess its quality and its impact on the marine ecosystem. Untreated sewage discharge into the marine environment contaminates seawater, sediment, and marine flora and fauna. High total and fecal coliforms levels were recorded indicating high microbiological contamination of seawater exceeded the international accepted limit. In addition, pollution by heavy metals is a serious ecological problem; results indicated hifh concentration of iron, copper, cadmium, manganese, zinc, chromium and lead.


Future Research Plans

  • Physico-chemical Characteristics and Microbiological Levels in Various Drinking water Sources of Iqlim Al-Kharroub in South Western Lebanon.

  • Transition Metal Complexes for Treatment of Heavy Metals, Dyes, and Pesticides in water.

  • Monitoring of Heavy Metals and Microorganisms in Fish Collected from Tripoli El-Mina.

  • Phosphate Solubilization Potential Of Rhizosphere Soil Bacteria And Their Possible use As biofertilizers.

  • Prevalence of Groundwater Pollution by Sewage in North Lebanon

  • Biocontrol of Tomato Fungal Diseases in Lebanon.

  • Phytoremediation Potential of Macrophytes in the Removal of Pollutants from Lebanese Water Bodies.

  • Bioremediation of Soil Contaminated with Methomyl and Chlorpyrifos in Bekaa Valley.

Specialized Water and Soil Analysis Laboratory

The Specialized Water and Soil Analysis unit utilizes cutting edge instrumentation to perform full service analytical environmental testing in emerging organic and inorganic contaminants. A variety of techniques to determine the elemental composition of variable materials including petroleum products, environmental samples, biological tissues or artificial polymers are widely used.


Infrastructure of the Laboratory

Atomic Absorption Spectrometers (AAS), Calorimeter Visible Merck Spectroquant, Ultraviolet-Visible spectrophotometer, Aqua Quest Spectrophotometer for Water Analysis, Diet Quest Spectrophotometer for Water Analysis Spectra Analyzer, Shaker Incubator, Bacterial Incubator, Kjeldahl Nitrogen, Dissolved oxygen meter, Flame Photometer, Prime lab 1.0 Multitest Photometer, Near IR Spectra Analyzer, Conductivity meter, pH-meter.


Applications

This organic area is focused on the basic techniques of:

  • Water and soil analysis

  • Modified supra-molecular and nano-materials for water treatment

  • Modified biomass and activated carbon for the removal of dyes and heavy metals from waste water

  • Determination of trace metals, pesticides in tissues, sediments and water

  • Quantitative determination of organic nitrogen in chemical substances

  • Analysis of dairy product, meat and other food products, snacks, grains, animal feed, chemicals, and pharmaceuticals.

  • All methods follow international quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC) standards.

Workshop on the Environmental Status of the Litani River at Beirut Arab University

The Research Center for Environment and Development at Beirut Arab University, Bekaa Site, organized a workshop under the title of The Environmental Status of the Litani River: Problems and Solutions which aimed to raise the aquatic awareness among people and motivate them to act quickly and take practical measures in order to face the problems from which the Litani suffers.

The workshop that was held on the 28th of March 2012, was attended by MP Dr. Assem Araji, ex-MP Mr. Nazem Nasrallah, ex-Minister of Agriculture Dr. Adel Kortas, Heads of the West, North and Central Bekaa Municipalities in addition to representatives of non-governmental organizations, significant figures and interested audience.

In the workshop, the status of the Litani River Basin was portrayed in terms of its quality, the amount of water available and the key aspects of proper management through worksheets presented by Professor Hamdi Seif, Faculty of Engineering/BAU, Dr. Nabil Amasha, Head of the Environment Unit in the Litani River Authority and Engineer Bassem Sabbagh, Head of the Pollution Control Department in the Ministry of the Environment.

The workshop resulted in calling for the establishment of an agency or a national council that coordinates among the concerned ministries, municipalities, the local community and the Litani Authority to manage the water of the basin, to put an end to the arbitrary environmental violations and to follow up, with the help of the Council for Development and Construction, on the status of the drainage system stations in the basin.

World Water Day 2018 at RCED


On World Water Day 2018, under the theme, “Nature for Water”, Research Center for Environment and Development (RCED), Beirut Arab University, Bekaa jointly with Gruppo di Volontariato Civile (GVC)-Italia organized a celebration event on March 30, 2018. This event was funded by UNHCR being the donor of several development projects that support the water networks and services in Bekaa region. The event targeted a group of students from the faculty of Civil Engineering, Beirut Arab University.


GVC team of both Italian and Lebanese members shared with participants the organization’s vision and information about its projects in several countries including those implemented in Lebanon. In addition, the use of nature-based approaches for water pumping and improving water quality were presented while examples of best practices were high lightened. This was followed by a site visit to the water system projects implemented by GVC in Qoub Elias, Central Bekaa and open round table discussion was held.