Sasyk Lagoon

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Sasyk Lagoon
Sasyk Lagoon coast.jpg
The coast of Sasyk Lagoon near Hlyboka village
Conduc Sagani Alibei.jpg
19th-century map of the lagoons of Sasyk, Shahany, Alibey, and Burnas
Sasyk Lagoon is located in Odessa Oblast
Sasyk Lagoon
Sasyk Lagoon
Sasyk Lagoon is located in Ukraine
Sasyk Lagoon
Sasyk Lagoon
LocationBlack Sea
Coordinates45°38′37″N 29°39′27″E / 45.64361°N 29.65750°E / 45.64361; 29.65750Coordinates: 45°38′37″N 29°39′27″E / 45.64361°N 29.65750°E / 45.64361; 29.65750
River sourcesCogalnic River, Sarata River
Ocean/sea sourcesAtlantic Ocean
Basin countriesUkraine
Surface area215 km2 (83 sq mi)
Average depth1.05 m (3.4 ft)
Max. depth3.3 m (11 ft)
SettlementsTatarbunary
Official nameSasyk Lake
Designated23 November 1995
Reference no.762[1]

Sasyk, or Kunduk (Romanian: Limanul Sasic, Conduc, Turkish: Sasık Gölü, Kunduk Gölü), is a lagoon or liman in southern Ukraine, near the Danube delta. It is a Ramsar listed wetland site important for migrating, breeding and moulting birds. About 25,000 pairs of wetland birds make their nests there and seasonal conglomerations of birds are up to 100,000 individuals.[2]

The area of the lagoon is 215 km2, and the depth up to 3.3 m. Until 1978 the lagoon was separated into two parts: northern brackishwater area, including the rivers Cogalnic and Sarata, and a southern marine area. The lagoon was separated from the sea by a 0.5 km wide sandbar.

Dam and reduced salinity[edit]

In 1978 a concrete dam was built on the sandbar and the lagoon was connected to the Danube River by a canal, through which fresh flood waters come. This has adversely changed the salinity in the lake, and this plus disturbance from recreation and commercial fishing activities has influenced the habitat for wildfowl.[2]

The aim of this Soviet dam project was to convert the lagoon to a fresh water lake to use for irrigation. However, this failed and the use of water from Sasyk resulted in the salinization of about 30,000 hectares of land, with associated detrimental impact on crops, and mineralization of ground water and wells.[3] The project ended in ecological, social and economic disaster.[4]

A 2007 report stated that the lagoon had become too dangerous for swimming because of pollution, including pesticides and heavy metals. The water is described as greenish with an unpleasant smell.[4][5] Many now favour breaking the dam and reconnecting the lagoon with the sea.[4][5]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ "Sasyk Lake". Ramsar Sites Information Service. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Information Sheet on Ramsar Wetlands: Sasyk Lake"[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ Anna Onisimova (21 January 2016). "Women Transform the Mainstream" (PDF). MAMA-86. p. 38. Retrieved 24 June 2017.
  4. ^ a b c Chantal van den Bossche (14 August 2008). "Give Sasyk back to the sea!". WECF International. Retrieved 25 June 2017.
  5. ^ a b Anna Samwel, WECF (22 August 2007). "Tatarbunary, Odessa Oblast, Ukraine – Partner visit to Mama-86 and Vozrozhdeniye in the frame of the Empowerment & Local Action/MFS Program" (PDF). Retrieved 24 June 2017.