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  • Λιβελούλα / Dragonfly (K. Panagiotidis
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In the Evros Delta, I like to:

About Evros Delta

Until the first half of the twentieth century, the form of the Evros Delta remained unchanged. Before the construction of the basic dike and function of the pumping stations, large areas of the delta were flooded with water.

The deposition of sediments from the river to the sea and land as well as the action of marine waves along the coast have played the main role in the formation of the delta, which remains a dynamic system in progress.

This normal process has now changed as a result of human interventions in the wider river basin.

Dams, canals, ditches, flood control and irrigation projects carried out in the Evros Delta between 1950 and 1980, in order to use the land for crops, have reduced freshwater supplies throughout the delta while have boosted the input of seawater.

Since 1956 began the implementation of projects in the delta (embankments, alignment, drainage canals, pumping stations) in the program "Evros - Meric Project", aimed to drain large areas for farming.

On completion of the above projects the majority of swamps and bogs were  drained and large amounts of fresh water directed towards the sea, reducing the enrichment of the aquifer.

Extensive drainage that took place in the coming years and the effort to "control" of the Evros river with dikes and alignments of the river bed led to the loss of habitats and to the disappearance of important species.

The draw-down of freshwater level has as a result the saltwater from the sea to penetrate through the channels and to the sandy surface and fill a large area of the southern delta.

Efforts to dry out of the delta was unsuccessful to create new agricultural land mainly because of salinization of soils in the south-western delta.

The degradation of wetland contribute largely the drainage of the Drana lagoon. Fishes and bird colonies nesting in the lagoon islets disappeared.

The drainage of Drana lagoon had virtually no benefit for residents and was a great loss for the delta, losing a very important habitat as well as an equally important source of income (fish farm).

It took more than 10 years (namely 2000), until the idea to mature in local society and the Prefecture of Evros for the restoration of the Drana lagoon and took place (2004) through the EU Life-Nature program.

Today, about half of the wetland is the Protected Area, and over 100.000 hectares have been drained. Very important areas have been attributed to cultivation so  the value of the wetland has been reduced as a result, particularly for the breeding of wild animals. The narrative of the innumerable birds that bred at the Evros Delta (geese, herons, pelicans, swans), the plentiful fish collected in the nets of fishermen and wild mammals roamed numerous wetland are now only a distant memory and nostalgia. Despite the degradation of the value of Evros Delta for wildlife is great, especially for birds, which are a magnet for many visitors, students, scientists and bird watchers.

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