Historical analysis (2000-2005) of the coastal water quality in San Andrés Island, SeaFlower Biosphere Reserve, Caribbean Colombia

Mar Pollut Bull. 2010 Jul;60(7):1018-30. doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2010.01.025. Epub 2010 Mar 9.


To understand the coastal water quality of San Andrès Island, and provide tools for the management of its marine resources, we present the historical analysis of the island monitoring, which includes ammonia, nitrites, nitrate, phosphates, fecal and total coliforms. The anthropogenic pressure on the coastal system is heavy, with water nutrification, posing at risk seagrass and coral ecosystems. During dry season, biologically available nitrogen is 3-9 times higher than the maximum recommended for coral reefs, while during wet season values are 2-6.4 times the maximum. Biologically available phosphorous is also high, 1-8 times the maximum during dry season, 2-13 times during wet season. In some sites the concentration of pathogenic bacteria is above the limits set by law for primary and secondary contact. It is urgent to improve the management of sewage discharge, the main polluting source of San Andres coastal waters.

Publication types

  • Historical Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Ammonia / analysis
  • Animals
  • Anthozoa / drug effects
  • Anthozoa / growth & development
  • Anthozoa / metabolism
  • Caribbean Region
  • Colombia
  • Ecosystem*
  • Enterobacteriaceae / isolation & purification
  • Enterobacteriaceae / pathogenicity
  • Environmental Monitoring / history*
  • Feces
  • Geography
  • History, 21st Century
  • Nitrates / analysis
  • Nitrites / analysis
  • Phosphates / analysis
  • Risk Assessment
  • Seasons
  • Seawater / chemistry*
  • Seawater / microbiology*
  • Water Microbiology*
  • Water Pollutants / analysis*
  • Water Pollutants / chemistry*
  • Water Pollutants / toxicity


  • Nitrates
  • Nitrites
  • Phosphates
  • Water Pollutants
  • Ammonia