Rising Sea in Amapá Leaves Açaí Salty and Riverside People without Water

Climate crisis threatens extractivism project at the mouth of the Amazon

The main source of income in the Bailique archipelago (Amapá), located at the mouth of the Amazon, is the imposing native açaí groves.

But the rising level of the Atlantic Ocean over the world's most voluminous river is salting the purple fruit and threatening the permanence of the estimated 14,000 residents.

The onslaught of the sea on the river has always occurred in the region, where it gained the local name of launching tide or haul. The problem is that it has been happening with increasing force and for longer.

This year, for the first time, all 58 communities, spread over eight islands, were affected, leading the city of Macapá to declare a situation of emergency.

"This has always been the case, but it did not enter the archipelago, it was only in coastal communities. Last year, it took a third of Bailique. This year, it took the entire archipelago," says the president of the açaí producers' cooperative Amazonbai, Amiraldo de Lima Picanco.

According to residents, the Amazon river began to get salty from August onwards.

On October 14, the mayor of Macapá, Dr. Furlan (Citizenship party), declared an emergency situation in the district to speed up the distribution of water and basic food baskets.

The impact also advances on the açaí groves. According to Picanço, who is a forestry engineer, fruits harvested closer to the coast became salted more than ten years ago, and the phenomenon is intensifying.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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