Multiple recreational seawater pollution episodes affected the coasts of Campania region (Southern Italy) during the 2019 summer season (May through September). The region’s population detected evidence of this pollution by a change in the water colour (to green–brown).This pollution was only partially revealed by conventional monitoring and standardized indicators performed by the Campania Region Environmental Protection Agency (ARPAC). Starting with this evidence, a multidisciplinary team that included representatives from both Italian and United States universities, the Regional Environmental Protection Agency, and the Italian Coast Guard, studied the phenomenon and found all three actors of the environmental model source-path-target. The research was performed using the Multi-level and Multi-parametric monitoring (MUM3) framework, following a bottom-up approach, comprising both onsite and remote sampled and sensed data, that begins at the surface level and scales up to determine the extent as well as the source of the pollution. By this approach, the presence of a microalgae bloom (Pyramimonas spp. and Euglena spp.) has been disclosed and it has been related to the higher amount of nutrients loading by river inflows, due to the precipitation anomalies occurred in May 2019 in that site. This study represents the first application of a real testbed of the MUM3 framework that follows a bottom-up approach showing the added value of this multi-scale and multiparameter methodology for environmental monitoring and assessment, where conventional methods often fail.
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