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The Ebro Delta, situated at the southern end of the Costa Dorada is the largest wetland in Catalunya and is the second most important natural wetland habitat in Spain after the Doñana National Park. About 8,000 ha of the delta are Natural Park and Ramsar sites, as well as part of the Natura 2000 network of the European Union.
The delta has a high biodiversity and productivity, supports important fisheries, provides habitat for wildlife, and cleanses water. Important economic activities include agriculture, fisheries, aquaculture and tourism. The delta is the second most important bird area of Spain, supporting a very large population of breeding waterbirds as well as birds on migration and during the non-breeding period (northern winter).
The Ebro delta has a variety of different ecosystems including lagoons, sand dunes, salt marsh and rice fields, the latter making the area important agriculturally. At its peak around 1965, nearly 17,000 ha of the delta were under rice production, with the figure being around 15,000 ha today.
The delta is currently being eroded and the deposition of silt from the Ebro is reducing as a result of dam and reservoir construction higher up the river. While the sea level is slowly rising and the marshes sinking under their own weight, it is estimated that half the delta may disappear in the next 50 years.