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Danube Delta

Demonstration Site 3

Razim-Sinoe Lagoon System

About the Site

At the end of its immense journey across Europe, the Danube meets the Black Sea via the continent's second largest, and best preserved delta. ​The largest lagoon in Romania, is the largest European wetland.

The area is particularly well known for the abundance of birdlife: 312 important bird species are present in the Delta, which is an important stopover a. Most of the lagoon was originally occupied by the sea and has became isolated from the sea by sand bars and dunes resulting from the deposition of sediments and created favourable conditions to form the new shores of Razim Sinoe Lagoon.nd breeding area for many bird species. About 90 fish species

The Razim-Sinoe Lagoon System is where the freshwater of the Danube and the salt water of the Black Sea meet.

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Environmental Pressures

This Biosphere Reserve experienced major human interventions during the second half of the XXth Century, resulting in drastic change in the hydrological regime, with major impact on ecosystems and human wellbeing. These interventions included: attempts to transform wetlands into agricultural polders; closing the Portita Inlet with changes in the hydrological regime of the Razelm Sinoe Lagoon System; and cutting the meanders to create faster navigation canals along the Sf. Gheorghe Arm.


More recently, the system has been affected by major silting up at the delta lagoon scale, due to these changes and lack of mitigation measures. Due to climate change the areas less connected to the Danube main arms have suffered from drought and stagnation.

Proposed Activities

The activities planned for the Danube Delta - Razelm Sinoe Lagoon system aim to demonstrate the multiple benefits of the river-lagoon-sea reconnection. Development of the technical design study and pilot will be performed closely with the local communities and other stakeholders. This site will develop best practice for other coastal areas in the Black Sea, where coastal interventions have blocked fish and other species migration. The solutions will increase biodiversity and have a positive socio-economic impact on the local economies (traditional activities are allowed in the Biosphere Reserve).


Measures include:

  • Improved hydrological connectivity, water renewal, biodiversity, and socio-economic status.

  • A framework will be created of best practice in restoration of delta-sea systems leading to “Reconnecting the river to the sea”. This will be through a technical design study for the implementation for re-opening of the Portita Inlet, improved communication between all parts of the lagoon system and connection to the Sf. Gheorghe Arm

  • The effect of different restoration scenarios on the lagoon’s conditions will be evaluated using numerical models as recommended by WP2 and 3. The plan will provide optimal solutions for re-opening and continuous circulation of water, sediments and biota.

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Demonstration Site 1

Upper Danube


Other Research Sites

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Demonstration Site 2

Middle Danube

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