The Danube Delta (Delta Dunării in Romanian, Дельта Дунаю, Delta Dunaiu in Ukrainian), located in Dobruja (Romania) and in the province of Odessa (Ukraine), occupies an area of 3,446 km².
The Danube Delta is a region of uninhabited marshes and swamps, intersected by wooded elevations. Every year, the land deposited by the Danube makes the delta grow by about 40 m. This is why it is a very dynamic structure. About 2,500 years ago, according to the Greek historian Herodotus, the Danube divided into 7 branches when it reached its mouth.
Near Tulcea, Romania, the Danube divides into three main arms before reaching the Black Sea—Chilia, Sulina, and Sfântu Gheorghe (Saint George)—but many smaller channels make it a region of reedbeds, swamps, and forests, of which some are flooded in spring and autumn.
About 44 km from the Danube River Delta, upriver, is Snake Island, which currently belongs to Ukraine but is claimed by Romania.
In 2004, Ukraine inaugurated the works of the "Bistroe Canal", which will facilitate a navigable link between the Black Sea and the Ukrainian part of the Danube Delta. However, the European Union asked Ukraine to desist from continuing with the work due to the serious damage that the delta's wetlands would suffer. Romania, more committed to the protection and conservation of the delta, wants to take Ukraine to the International Court of Justice in The Hague.
Interactive map of the Danube Delta
The delta is home to more than 1,200 species of plants, 320 species of birds, as well as more than 3,400 species of freshwater fauna, including about 110 fish, such as the raven. As early as 1974, more than half of the delta was declared a "wetland area of international importance" and designated a World Heritage Site in 1991 under the Ramsar Convention (officially the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Wetlands Habitat). Acuatic birds). Currently, the Danube Delta has been included in the UNESCO list of places classified as Biosphere Reserves, with the name of Danube Delta Transboundary Biosphere Reserve. It has some 2,733 km² of strictly protected area distributed among 18 zones.
It is the place where millions of migratory birds from different parts of the world (from Europe, Africa, Asia and the Mediterranean) come to nest.
The vegetation is dominated by formations of reedbeds and rushes, which cover 78% of the surface. There are also salt marshes (6%) and riparian forests, differentiated according to the frequency of their flooding, with permanently flooded willow groves and periodically flooded poplars. There are forests, such as Letea, notable for the asymmetrical crowns of its trees, which include oaks (Quercus pedunculiflora and Q. robur), poplars (Populus tremula), elms (Ulmus foliacea) and ash trees (Fraxinus angustifolia). can cross by boat or catamaran
Some 15,000 people live in the Danube Delta. Most of them live from fishing, for which they use their traditional kayaks made of wood. Among them is a community of Lipovans, descendants of the Old Believers, who left Russia in 1772 to avoid religious persecution. The main center of this community in the Ukrainian part of the delta is Vylkove.
For most of the Modern Age, the Danube Delta was in the hands of the Ottoman Empire. As Ottoman rule over the Balkans loosened, the Austro-Hungarian Empire and other European powers moved to prevent the delta, like other Ottoman territories, from falling to the Russian Empire.
The Treaty of Paris (1856), which ended the Crimean War, established that an international commission (Comisi�