Estuary of Bilbao

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The Estuary of Bilbao (Spanish: Ría de Bilbao / Basque: Bilboko Itsasadarra) lies at the common mouth of the rivers Nervion, Ibaizabal and Cadagua, that drain most of Biscay and part of Alava in the Basque Country, Spain. It is a large estuary 16 km (9.9 mi) long that extends from Bilbao to the Bilbao Abra bay, a widening that makes the final transition between river and sea. It hosts the port of Bilbao in all its extension though the Harbour Authority has recently restored most of the upper shores to Bilbao and other municipalities for their urban regeneration. The harbour is now being displaced to the exterior, to the coastline of Santurtzi and Zierbena.

Downstream from Bilbao the estuary divides its metropolitan area in its left bank (Barakaldo, Sestao, Portugalete and Santurtzi and its right bank (Erandio, Leioa and Getxo).

Map of the Estuary, to the west the Bay of Biscay and the port docks, to the east the city of Bilbao. To the north is the right bank and to the south the left bank.

The recovery of the estuary[edit]

The estuary of Bilbao has been a really important part of the city. Bilbao borned 700 years ago in the surroundings of the river Nervión, as a commercial small village. Since then, Bilbao extended until arriving to the sea. Therefore, this estuary was so important, it was useful to work in the maritime area.

The estuary of Bilbao.

Unfortunately, the river reached high levels of contamination because of the industrial activities during the past century.

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Coordinates: 43°22′N 3°03′W / 43.367°N 3.050°W / 43.367; -3.050