Lagos Lagoon: Location, Size, Features, Pollution & Impact

Lagos state is one of the states in Nigeria with an estimated population of 14.8 million people. It is located in the southwest of Nigeria on the Gulf of Guinea.

It is an industrial and commercial state and attracts lots of people from the various states in Nigeria.

It comprises a lot of notable and interesting places such as the Lagos mainland, Lekki, Victoria Island, Maryland, Lekki toll gate, the Lagos museum, The Maryland mall considered as one of the biggest malls in Lagos, and also the famous Lagos lagoon.

The principal ocean port of Lagos is located at Apapa in a broad western branch off the main channel of the harbor.

About Lagos Lagoon

The Lagos lagoon is an area of interest to everyone. Most people who visit Lagos state always want to go and visit the lagoon as well, it holds lots of memories and histories.

The lagoon has become like a tourist center that anyone who comes to Lagos wants to visit.

Location & Dimensions

The Lagos lagoon is located in Lagos, it has a maximum length of fifty kilometers (31 mi), a maximum width of thirteen kilometers (8.1 mi), and the surface area is 6,354.7 km² (2,453.6 sq mi).

The lagoon is separated from the Atlantic ocean by a long sand spit two to five kilometers wide which has a lot of swampy margins on the lagoon side. The lagoon is a bit shallow so ocean-going ships hardly operate on it except smaller barges and boats.

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The Ogun river and the Osun river water also flow to the Lagos lagoon and it empties itself into the large Atlantic ocean through the Lagos harbor, the main channel which passes through the heart of the city, 0.5km to 1.5km wide and 10km long.

Properties & Features

The lagoon provides places of abode and recreation, means of livelihoods, and dumpsite for residential and industrial discharge which is quite wrong. The lagoon also serves as a natural shock absorber to balance force within the natural ecological environment.

The Lagos lagoon is made up of three segments which are Lagos harbor, The Metropolitan end, and the Epe division segment. The temperature of the bottom of the lagoon is high which is relatively constant during the year.

The pollution level of the lagoon is very high in the Lagos harbor segment and decreases in the Metropolitan end of the lagoon, while the Epe segment is a bit free as it has the least level of pollution.

There is a difference in the salinity of the lagoon due to the effect of the Atlantic ocean and it fluctuates seasonal and semi-diurnally. These fluctuations are greatest in the Lagos harbor segment of the lagoon because of the influx of water from the Atlantic ocean and the lagoon.

The bottom has coarse Shelly sand around the mouth of Lagos harbor through the different grades of muddy sand to mud. The Sandy mud deposit happens in the middle areas with muddy sand of the sands that are towards the shore.

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The reason for the coarse sand at the entrance of the harbor could be attributed to the fast water current in the area.

The sea bed of the Lagos lagoon has been described as phenomenal. The sea bed of the Metropolitan area is relatively and increases towards the Epe segment of the lagoon. The sea bed has been somehow distorted due to the semi and large-scale sand mining especially towards the Ikorodu area of the lagoon.

Societal Impact

Lagos lagoon has impact the lives of many Lagosians ( the inhabitants of Lagos state) just like the Nile to Egypt and the Mississippi to America. It provides a place to live for the Iljes and Ijaws (still housing there).

Makoko and Ilaje in Baringa the two communities which constitute the greater portions of the lagoon with a combined population of 37,598, live on the lagoon.

Other human activities going on on the lagoon are agriculture, mining. Fishing, recreational activities and so much more. It also provides a good platform for inland waterways transportation which can reduce the transportation problems in the Lagos metropolis.

There are lots of aquatic organisms in the lagoon that are commercially important, providing food and profit for the communities around the lagoon and beyond. The water environment plays a great role as a breeding ground for aquatic species.

As stated earlier the lagoon is faced with the threat of the public. The complex combination of pollutants within the Lagos area affects the fishes and is potentially harmful to humans.

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Pollution & Contamination

The growth and development of so many industries have played a very big role in contributing to the many pollutants in the lagoon and land ecosystem as well.

Plastic products, car parts, damaged used tires are some of the items found in the Lagos lagoon.

These pollutants end up sinking right to the bottom of the lagoon and released during heavy rainfalls wind or underwater turbulence. This action stirs the water thereby returning contaminants in the water.

The contaminants include a wide priority of pollutants with significant toxic potential for wildlife and humans. They include metals like cadmium, mercury as well as other organic compounds.

The pollutants from domestic and industrial sources are capable of interfering with the fish’s growth and reproduction. This may also lead to course harm to humans who depend on the lagoon for food.

It can affect fish catches in the lagoon as well.

Water Transport

The areas around the west side of the lagoon are not provided with good roads and many communities there rely on the water transport system.

People who do not live around the communities have to also follow through the water transport to access the areas around the lagoon. The palaver island also lies in the middle of the lagoon.

Words paint or create images in the mind of a reader but there are lots of pictures of the lagoon on the internet that will feed your pictorial curiosity to know how it looks like.

And for more you can as well visit the lagoon.

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