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Sand Dredging and River Morphology Change along Parts of New Calabar River in Akpor Area of Rivers State, Nigeria and its Implications for Biological Resource Conservation

Author(s): P.C. Mmom | G.O. Chukwu-Okeah

Journal: Research Journal of Environmental and Earth Sciences
ISSN 2041-0484

Volume: 4;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 82;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: Aquatic habitat | biological resources | biological resources | channel incision | conservation | New Calabar River | River morphology | sand dredging | sediments

The study was instituted to assess the impact of sand dredging along parts of New Calabar River channel morphology and the implication for biological resources conservation.The study was conducted within a period of two years (2008 and 2009) in two major sand dredging sites (Ogbogoro and Rumuorlumeni areas) along the new Calabar River in Rivers State, Nigeria. The channel measurement was ascertained using hydrographic survey report carried out by dredge operators in the areas. The influence of river channel incision on river hydraulics was evaluated by comparing stream velocity of the different years. The volume of sand in the two areas were ascertained from sand search report, sediment lost from the channel were also obtained from the dredge time reports of dredge operators. The study reveals thatsignificant down-cutting in the riverbed along these parts of the New Calabar River. Significant increase in stream velocity was observed with increase the sediment transport capacityand accelerated channel incision; in fact there was significant change in the channel geometry. Consequently, there was an observed decline in the productivity of aquatic resources in the area, which our survey affirms as being a result of intense sand dredging in the area. The study therefore concludes that intense and uncontrolled sand dredging in the study area would mean detrimental impact on river management systems as well as future of the aquatic biodiversity and biological resources in the area. Thus, there is need for stringent restrictions on in-channel sand mining to save the biophysical and socio-economic environment of the affected areas.
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