|Site name:||Lesina Lagoon||Country:||Italy||GIG Region:||Med|
|GIG Type:||TW||Site code:||----||Altitude(m a.s.l.):||----|
|Area (km²):||51.4||Mean depth (m):||0.7||Mixing regime:||----|
|Alkalinity (m eq/l):||----||Retention time (yr):||0.25||Chlorophyll a (µg/l):||1.61|
|Total phosphorus (µg/l):||37.16||Eutrophication status:||Medium - High||Hydromorphological status:||Medium|
Lesina Lagoon (41.88°N and 15.45°E) is located along the southern Adriatic coast of Italy and is characterised by shallow waters (0.7–1.5 m) and limited exchanges with the sea, features that it shares with many other Mediterranean lagoons. The lagoon is about 24.4 km long, with a total area of 51.4 km2; the catchment area is about 600 km2. The lagoon is separated from the sea by a sand-bar about 18 km long and seawater enter the lagoon by two tidal channels: Acquarotta to the West, about 2 km long, and Schiapparo to the East, about 1 km long. The lagoon's main hydrological features, temperature and salinity follow a seasonal trend, with minimum values in winter and maximum values in summer. Temperatures generally range from 3 to 32 °C and salinity from 5 to 38 ppt.
Fresh-water inputs, precipitation and the exchange efficiency of the tidal channels generate a well structured salinity gradient, which rises towards the West. Main freshwater inputs enter the basin along its southern edge. Roughly 80% of the annual freshwater budget is discharged into the eastern part of the lagoon. The partially treated waste waters of three municipalities with a total of 30000 inhabitants are discharged into the lagoon by the Elce channel (8000 inhabitants), the river Lauro and the Idrovora Lauro pumping station. Waters drained from nearby cultivated land (21000 ha) are discharged into the lagoon by the Lauro and Zannella watercourses and the Idrovora Pilla pumping station; the area surrounding the western end of the basin is used for intensive vegetable wheat farming. In addition, there are three intensive fish farms along the coast which discharge wastewaters into the lagoon through small channels on the western side and through the Zannella channel on the eastern side. Finally there is a cattle farm situated on the western shore, near the Acquarotta channel.
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