Great Brăila Island
The Great Brăila Island (Romanian: Insula Mare a Brăilei) is an island on the Danube river in the Brăila County, Romania. It has on average 57.9 km length and 18.6 km width, with a total area of 710 km². The two river branches which separate it from the mainland are Măcin Branch and Vâlciu Branch.
Adjacent to the West across the Vâlciu branch is the Small Brăila Island (Romanian: Insula Mică a Brăilei, actually a chain of several islands within swampy area), separated from the mainland by Vâlciu and Cremenea Branch.
Currently, 681.3 km² (94.6% of the area of island) are occupied by agricultural terrains of which 70.84 km² are irrigated and is protected by a dam having a length of 23.5 km. On the island there are two communes, Frecăţei and Mărașu, which have about 5,000 inhabitants. In the southwest is the village of Măraşu.
There was a series of swamps – Brăila Pond (Romanian: Balta Brăilei), until the Communist regime drained them and built dams using forced labour of political detainees and transformed it to an agricultural area. There were "re-education camps" at Grădina,Ostrov, Bandoiu, Lunca, Salcia, Stoienești and Strâmba Veche. The terrain proved to be fertile and it was declared a "success of Communism in Romania".
Balta Mică a Brăilei Natural Park is base on the Small Brăila Island.
- Ediție Specială, 26 July 2005 (part 1), (part 2)
- Jurnalul Național, 4 August 2005, Bărăganul dintre braţele Dunării