HERSEK LOGOON, Bird Paradise

Hersek Lagoon Wetland is in the duty area of 2nd Regional Directorate of Nature Conservation and National Parks, Provincial Branch Directorate of Yalova. It is 27 km away from Yalova and is located within the boundaries of Altınova District. The area which was registered as a Wetland with Local Importance on 23.02.2016 is 167 hectares. The lagoon is separated from the Marmara Sea by a thin coastline.

It has been determined that the average depth of the lake is 50-60 cm while the deepest point is 90 cm.

The Hersek Lagoon is Turkey's only lake that has a title deed certificate. According to the sources, the title deed of the lake was given to Hıfzı Bey, who settled in Lake Hersek from Thessaloniki. Refik Hıfzı Bey donated all his assets to Darülaceze in 1950.

Osmangazi bridge is right next to the lagoon. In the initial planning, while the legs of the bridge were planned to pass through the lagoon, the Hersek Lagoon was preserved with the application of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry General Directorate of Nature Conservation and National Parks and Altınova Municipality officials and the approval of the President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the project of the Osmangazi bridge was revised, the bridge was curved and the lagoon was protected.

Hersek Lagoon is a very valuable wetland ecosystem. It is of great importance as a shelter, feeding and breeding ground for many species, especially waterfowl. The time period when it is most crowded is winter. The area is located on the migration route of hundreds of thousands of birds between the continents of Europe and Africa in every spring and autumn season. In the area, there are important bird species that breed in colonies, especially on the coastline between the sea and the lake. These are Sandwich tern, common tern, Mediterranean gull, Eurasian oystercatcher, Little ringed plover and Caspian gull. Hersek Lagoon is also an important accommodation place in the Marmara region with its large number of Flamingos in the winter season.

Hersek Lagoon Wetland development project has been made in order to introduce the aesthetic visual beauty created by the richness and diversity of birds in the area, to allow visitors to observe without damaging the wetland habitat, to develop bird tourism and to introduce various aromatic plants by the General Directorate of Nature Conservation and National Parks around this natural wonder lagoon.

Within the scope of the project, the Hersek Lagoon Nature Education Center, Bird Watching Area and Medicinal Aromatic Plants Garden were built. These structures are located in two different areas. In the first area, Nature Education Center, Bird Watching Area and Turkey's first and only Barrier-Free Bird Observation Tower is located the northern part. In the second area, there is a Garden of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants located in the south wing of the lagoon. The facilities in the area have been built in harmony with nature so that the birds are not disturbed.

In addition, our disabled citizens were not forgotten while the Nature Education Center and Bird Watching Area and the Medical Aromatic Plants Garden were established with the practice implemented for the first time in our country, and it was designed as an "Accessible Protected Area" that serves disabled people and their families within the scope of the Law No. 5378 on the Disabled.