Oil pollution is one of the major critical risks to the Egypt’s marine environment due to the heavy traffic caused by shipping in the Suez Canal and the exploration and production of crude oil. Indeed, such frequent oil pollution cases harm to the marine ecosystem and creates pressure on the socio-economic activities within the coastal economic zone of Egypt. Limited data availability creates obstacles to the precise monitoring of oil pollution and the ability to alert the environment agency to take any necessary actions. This research explored the potentiality of developing an open-source model with the use of open-access Sentinel 1 Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data from the European Space Agency to operationally monitor oil pollution at near-real time. As such, early detection and quantification of the volume of pollution creates an early warning system that supports decision makers in clean-up operations and the prosecution of the polluter. The developed model uses an open-source GIS system and Sentinel-1 SAR data to robustly detect and map oil spills and create an a report to alert the appropriate agency of the spill. The model examined a large amount of data, nearly 2000 scenes from the Sentinel 1 SAR sensor, that cover the area of study from 2014 to 2020. The model detected approximately 218 oil pollution cases within this time frame, with about 35% occurring in 2017 alone. The statistical analysis and frequency of oil pollution is mapped near the entrance of Suez Canal and the city of Port Said. This area is known as the anchoring area for the maritime ships that travel via the Suez Canal, and there are also oil and gas production nearby. It was found that the drift direction of the oil spills near Port Said move southwards, which creates a hazard for local fishing activities, Port Said touristic beaches, and marine ports. This model is the scientific and practical solution for the city council and the environmental agency to continuously monitor and receive alerts regarding any oil pollution cases in order to protect the coastal and marine socio-economic ecosystem and maintain sustainability.
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