The channel of the Valo Grande (VG) in the Ribeira de Iguape River (São Paulo State, Brazil), inaugurated in 1852, is one of the largest environmental disasters in the Brazilian coast. This article presents a synthesis of the historical, ecological, geographic and sociopolitical dimensions involving the VG. The VG has promoted the ecosystem disrupting and the landscape reconfiguration of Cananéia-Iguape estuary-lagoon complex. Studies have also indicated that part of these environmental changes could be reversible, in the case of VG closure, which was determined by Brazilian jury at second instance in 2018. Such a decision, however, shall be accompanied by an extensive monitoring program aiming at the environmental and social effectiveness of this action in long-term. The VG question still remains unsolved, although more than 150 years have passed since its first impacts in the region. It is a unique case in Brazil, which this article seeks shed some light.
Ribeira Valley; coastal environment; Ribeira de Iguape River; environmental governance