Project leaflet (PDF, 1.73 MB)

Guide on public involvement in policy and decision making (PDF, 4.19 MB)

Waters in the region

The Black Sea is almost isolated from the world ocean but it is up to 2,212 metres deep in places and receieves waters from a catchment area of 2,000,000 square kilometers, occupying about one third of continental Europe. The second, third and fourth largest European rivers (the Danube, the Dnieper and the Don) flow into the Black Sea. Each year the sea receives about 350 cubic kilometers of river waters from eighteen countries. Other major rivers that flow into the Black Sea are the Kuban, the Southern Bug, the Rioni, the Kazalarmak and the Kamchiya.

Fourteen Bulgarian rivers flow directly in the Black Sea but they are not very big and the total coastal discharge rate is less than 2 cubic kilometers per year. The biggest of those rivers is the Kamchiya. The river flow is highly variable and depends on the season. The most significant of these rivers are the Batova, the Devnenska, the Provadiyska, the Kamchiya, the Ropotamo and the Veleka.

The increased anthropogenic impact through intensive development of industry, tourism and the creation of large agglomerations along the coast leads to serious problems with the quality and purity of waters. The adoption of the Water Framework Directive of the European Union in 2000 was a key step as it introduced a new legislative approach based not on the administrative and state borders but on natural geographical and hydrological formations ? the river basins. The Directive requires the coordination of all relevant EU policies and has a precise timetable envisaging the achievement of good status for all waters in Europe by 2015. A more recent EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive of 2008 promotes the sustainable use of the seas and the conservation of the marine ecosystems by supporting integrated efforts to achieve good environmental status of regional seas in Europe by 2020.