Coastal wetlands are located between land and ocean, which have various ecosystem services such as storm and flood protection, food provision, water purification, climate regulation and biodiversity conservation etc. However, coastal wetlands are suffering from serious degradation or loss worldwide due to intense reclamation or occupation and sea-level rise in the context of global warming, which greatly impacts coastal wetland ecosystem health. However, little information is available on the effects of land use/land change, and wetland quality and wetlands protection awareness on coastal wetland ecosystem health, especially in Liberia. In this research, the changes in landscape pattern of coastal wetlands were analysed using remote sensing images in 1985, 2002 and 2020, and the coastal wetland area in 2070 were predicted; Landscape fragmentation analysis were also conducted to identify the intensity of the fragmentation. A health evaluation index system for Mesurado wetland was created using pressure - state – response model based on landscape indicators, chemical indicators of water and soil samples and questionnaire for wetlands protection awareness, and the Analytical Hierarchy process (AHP) analysis was used to evaluate the values of weight of the selected indicators of wetland health in order to assess the healthy status of coastal wetlands .
The pressure from 1985-2002 on the wetland was almost twice that of 2002-2020 due to the huge loss of wetland caused by the influx of internally displace people fleeing fighting from 1985-2002.. The average score for the pressure indicators based on the evaluation system is sub-health. The analysis from the landscape indices showed that the wetland had gotten progressively fragmented over the years, with the overall score for the landscape metrics being slightly morbid. The water quality result is worrying given how many people still depend on the wetland for their livelihood. Among all of the parameters, only the pH and ammonia are within the acceptable limits, which caused the overall being slightly healthy. Comparatively, the result from the soil quality analysis showed that all of the soil quality parameters are within the acceptable limits, hence, the soil quality of the Mesurado wetland is very healthy. The Mesurado wetland responded to pressures from human activities and changes in environmental conditions differently over time, and the overall score for the response is slightly healthy, which was probably due to better management from government and NGOs and the fact that more people are becoming aware of the need to protect wetland.