A design approach to protect and enhance a natural wetland in Attica (Greece)
Wetlands constitute one of the most important ecosystems on Earth yet two thirds of Europe's wetlands have been lost in the past 100 years. Europe's wetlands are still under threat from land use change and pollution and are among the most endangered ecosystems. Urbanisation in Mediterranean coastal wetlands has resulted in the destruction or fragmentation of valuable habitats and in particular coastal lagoons are among the most threatened. Careful planning and management of tourism and regional development can contribute to the safeguard of wetlands and also benefit the local community and economy. Oropos lagoon located in NE Attica, Greece, constitutes one of the few remaining wetlands within Attica. Within the last 30 years the original size of the lagoon decreased to nearly half due to urbanization and vehicular trafficking. Currently the lagoon occupies an almost flat coastal area of approximately 65 ha that hosts important bird species and coastal plant communities and continues to be under pressure. A design approach aimed to protect and enhance the lagoon is presented based on a detailed study of the lagoon and its uses. For this purpose a field survey was performed in year 2012 during two periods, spring and mid-summer with an aim to identify and record the plant species and map the habitat types in the area. A total of 130 plant specimens were collected and identified. A site analysis was also undertaken. The results obtained by the field survey and site analysis formed the basis of a design proposal to develop a wetland park that aimed to inhibit further degradation, protect and enhance the remaining wetland of Oropos.
Katsika, E., Paraskevopoulou, A.T. and Trigas, P. (2017). A design approach to protect and enhance a natural wetland in Attica (Greece). Acta Hortic. 1189, 355-358
wetland park, regional development, coastal lagoon, plant communities, habitat