Case Study Source: The Joint U.S.-Brazil Initiative on Urban Sustainability, part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.


The Fundão Channel, which divides Fundão Island from the mainland of Rio de Janeiro along the busy Red Line highway, became polluted over the years by dumped petrochemical residues and contaminated runoff. With new investment in the sustainable redevelopment of parts of the island, which houses the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), as well as of the transportation networks around the canal, remediating and revitalizing the canal also became a priority for the State of Rio de Janeiro. The Fundão Channel Recovery and Revitalization Program, which began in May 2009, aims to revitalize the channel through a series of environment, infrastructure, and technology interventions. Thus far, the progress made has improved the watershed and local ecosystem sufficiently to entice bird species that had been absent from the region for more than 20 years to return to the area.


With R$320 million in funding from Petrobras, a major firm operating in the area, this program covers a range of activities intended to revitalize the Fundão Channel. More than 33 square kilometers of mangroves have already been preserved around the island, and 500,000 seedlings and trees have been planted, revitalizing about 400,000 square meters of degraded channels. Dredging will remove more than 3 million cubic meters of sediment along 7 kilometers of the Fundão Channel. The installation of "geotubes," which prevent erosion and filter water, will strengthen soils and improve water quality as well. A new road-the North Access-is under construction to unclog traffic in this area alongside 2.3 kilometers of newly paved streets and alleys in the UFRJ community. Further, a sewage system was inaugurated in April 2011, and a new drinking water distribution network enhances sustainability in the region.

Environmental, Social, and Economic Benefits

This revitalization program will improve water quality and quality of life in a busy section of Rio de Janeiro. New forested areas will sequester carbon and will enhance ecosystem services and biodiversity, as well.

Contact Information

Rio de Janeiro State Secretariat of Environment (SEA)
Sub-Secretariat of Green Economy