Water is life. The Earth's water cycle is a process of constant renewal: waterfalls, water vapour, clouds, rain, springs, rivers, seas, oceans, glaciers... the cycle is never broken. But the engine of life is linkage, and since our origins, water, air and forms of life are closely linked.
Wetlands represent less than 10% of the surface of the planet. Under their calm waters lies a veritable factory, where plants and micro-organisms filter the water and digest all the pollution. These marshes are indispensable environments for the regeneration and purification of water. They are sponges that regulate the flow of the water: absorb it in the wet season and release it in the dry season.
Danube Delta is one of the biggest wetlands in the world, habitat of the waterfowl, and the only delta entirely declared as Biosphere Reserve.
Shared between Romania (about 75% of the area) and Ukraine, the delta region includes extensive examples of unaltered rivers, reed beds, marshes, steppes, dunes, shingle bars, coasts, lagoons, saltmarshes and climax forests. The mosaic of habitats developed is the most various in Romania, hosting a great variety of communities of plants and animals:*
- wetland biodiversity with 30 types of ecosystems, 23 natural and 7 created by man;
- over 7400 species - many of them rare or missing in other European areas;
- rich fish fauna (75 species), including several species of sturgeon, and important populations of several mammals;
- the biggest area of compact reed beds on the planet.
Started in the 70’s, the powerful ecological forces that underlie the Delta’s productiveness were threaten by the so-called “complex development plan” initiated by the communist regime. The biological, chemical and physical systems were subject to rapid and severe degradation, as result of over-development for navigation, fish farming, agriculture, forestry and flood control.