Empordà wetlands are situated in NE of Catalonia in the “Costa Brava, Spain”. It is the second largest wetland in Catalonia, only surpassed by the Ebre Delta. It consists of a total area of 4,866 ha, of which 824 ha are strict nature reserve and 9 are partial nature reserve. (Generalitat de Catalunya). It is very important for migratory birds that stop in its course between the cold northern European countries and the warm African continent.
Fig. 1. Empordà wetlands situation. Source: Generalitat de Catalunya Nowadays, these wetlands exist thanks to a group of activists (GDAE, acronym in Catalan) that in 70s managed to save this oasis for births of building large urban complexes as Empuriabrava with a lot of effort and social pressure. With this article we want to remember the 30th anniversary of the creation of the national park, which was in 1983 and also the first environmental movements in Catalonia.
Fig. 2. Aerial view of Empuriabrava urbanization. Source: www.deviajeporcatalunya.com Currently, far from being protected and untouchable zone Empordà wetlands Natural Park has a path network with points of bird watching and an interpretation center to bring to people this park. It is a great example of justification of why protecting the natural heritage saved by social pressure pioneers more than 3 decades ago.
Mauro R Rey