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Posts tagged Lake Nicaragua

Environmental Issues Affecting Lake Nicaragua, Nicaragua

March 6th, 2013 Category: Lakes

Nicaragua – March 6th, 2013

Nicaragua’s largest lake, Lake Nicaragua, has a surface of 8,264 km². Located in the central southern part of the country (and visible here near the image center), the oval-shaped lake is relatively uncontaminated, although some serious environmental issues pose a real threat for its future, particularly if preventative steps are not taken.

There are three principal contamination threats. The main problems and source of contamination for Lake Nicaragua are related to the discharge of wastewater that comes from the urban zones at the shores of the lake. In spite of the clear contamination that results from this practice, large cities as Granada, Rivas and Juigalpa and many small towns still lead their sewage from residential areas but even from industrial zones to the lake (either directly or through a river that terminates in the lake). Consequently, coastal areas close to these urban centers have to deal with the waste that is not biodegradable which surfaces in front of the settlements.

The second largest problem comes from the agricultural industry in the coastal areas. The fertile soil next to the lake provides a great site for cattle farming and plantations. In the departments of Chontales, Boaco and Rivas there are many places where people farm without protecting the lake whatsoever, leading to contamination with enormous quantities of fertilizers ending up in the water. Another even more important impact is caused by the nearby agricultural haciendas that contaminate the rivers flowing into the lake by the unprotected usage of chemicals at their plantations. This problem is mostly visible at the southern side of the lake on Nicaraguan territory but also on Costa Rican soil (as these rivers also terminate in Lake Nicaragua).

The third problem is a controversial issue related to the recent introduction of new fish species inside floating cages in the lake. Although the foreign firm that develops this project obtained the governmental permits and even though the fish breeding has already started, there has been strong disapproval by ecologists, social organizations and communities ever since the beginning. The problem, the critics point out, is that the huge quantity of Tilapia fish generates large waste quantities that the lake has to adsorb. The biologists also warn that the Tilapia might bring diseases that the endemic fish are not prepared for (click here for more information).


Gulf of Fonseca and Lakes Managua and Nicaragua, Central America

13.2N 87.7W

December 18th, 2012 Category: Lakes

El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua – December 16th, 2012

The irregularly shaped bay on the Pacific Coast of Central America is the Gulf of Fonseca, bordering El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua. Visible to the southeast is Lake Managua (light green) and Lake Nicaragua (dark green, bottom right corner), both in Nicaragua. West of the gulf, numerous volcanic peaks can be seen, parallel to the coast.

Very High Vegetation Index in Nicaragua and Honduras

14.7N 84.1W

December 15th, 2011 Category: Vegetation Index

Honduras - December 11th, 2011

This FAPAR image shows the vegetation index of part of Honduras and Nicaragua. Photosynthetic activity is very high throughout the image, as can be seen from the predominant rusty red false color.

Some areas of lower, but nonetheless good, photosynthetic activity can be observed near the Caribbean coast (top) and near the shores of Lake Nicaragua (bottom).

Fires Near Wetlands by Honduras-Nicaragua Border

15.3N 83.8W

December 14th, 2011 Category: Fires, Lakes, Wetlands

Honduras - December 11th, 2011

This image shows the coastline of Honduras (upper left) and Nicaragua, an area historically known as the “Mosquito Coast”, a narrow strip of territory fronting the Caribbean Sea that stretched inland for an average distance of 40 miles (64 km), and measured about 225 miles (362 km) from north to south.

Here, this coastal area is flanked by sediments, and several lagoons and areas of wetlands can be observed by the Honduras-Nicaragua border. The largest lagoon is the Laguna de Caratasca, appearing dark blue to the west but mostly brown from sediments. In the full image, a fire can be observed to the southwest of the lagoon, releasing a plume of smoke towards the southeast.

Also visible in the full image is Lake Nicaragua (bottom), a vast freshwater lake in Nicaragua with an area of 8264 km2. It is intermittently joined by the Tipitapa River to Lake Managua. The lake drains to the Caribbean Sea via the San Juan River.

Vegetation Index of Nicaragua Near Coastline

12.3N 86.3W

December 10th, 2011 Category: Vegetation Index

Nicaragua - December 10th, 2011

This FAPAR image shows the vegetation index of the southern coast of Central America. Visible near the shoreline from left to right are the Gulf of Fonseca, Lake Managua and Lake Nicaragua. The Gulf of Fonseca, part of the Pacific Ocean, borders El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua. The two lakes are both located in Nicaragua.

The vegetation index is generally good (green) throughout the image. Some areas of high vegetation index (rusty red) can be seen in the upper right quadrant and near the coast, particularly on the narrow stretch of land between Lake Nicaragua and the Pacific Ocean.