Jul 17, 2010

Nikos Deja Vu - Evros River - Evros Delta - Greece - Asking for troubles!

Nikos Deja Vu - Evros River - The Evros Delta - Asking for troubles!

The Evros Delta remained unchanged during the first half of the 20th century. Up until the middle of the 20 th century, which means before the construction of major dykes and the operation of pumping stations, large areas of the delta were flooded. The cycle of erosion and deposition among the sea, river and land as well as the action of marine waves at the coast have contributed to the topology of Evros delta, which continues to be a dynamic and evolutionary ecosystem. This natural cycle has been recently modified because of human interventions at the river's basin.

Dams, channels, ditches and flood-prevention as well as irrigation works were constructed in Evros Delta between 1950 and 1980 in order to expand the land area available for cultivation. These human interventions decreased the fresh water supply, limited its access into the delta area and also contributed to the invasion of salt water into the inner areas of the delta.

After the completion of the abovementioned works, the largest parts of marshes and wetlands were drained and large quantities of fresh water were channeled directly into the sea. During subsequent years, extensive drainage works took place in the area and there was an effort to "control" the Evros River flow through the use of dykes and new channels. These works led to the shrinkage and disappearance of important habitats and species. The fall of the ground water level resulted in the invasion of the sea inside the southern delta either through channels or through sandy areas. The efforts to drain the delta did not manage to create new productive agricultural land, mainly because of the increased salinity levels of the ground in the south-western delta.

In 1987, local people (mainly farmers) closed the entrance of Drana lagoon because they believed that the lagoon was responsible for the increased salinity of the cultivated soils. This action led to the degradation of the lagoon's habitat. Fish and colonies of bird species that were breeding by the lagoon's islets disappeared. The drainage of Drana lagoon did not have any significant benefit for local farmers and the delta lost an important habitat and an equally important wealth-producing fish source (vivarium). More than 10 years later, the local society and the Prefecture of Evros decided to restore Drana lagoon by implementing a Life - Nature project.

Enjoy it!

Nikos Deja Vu

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