- Vistula Lagoon
The Vistula Lagoon ( _pl. Zalew Wiślany or "Zatoka Fryska" in 1910 ["Zatoka Fryska" on a 1910 map at polishroots.org [http://www.polishroots.org/images/maps/mapa%20narodowosciowa%201910.jpg] ] ; _ru. Калининградский залив or "Kaliningradskiy Zaliv"; _de. Frisches Haff; _lt. Aismarės) is a
fresh water lagoonon the Baltic Seaseparated from Gdańsk Bayby the Vistula Spit. It is sometimes known as the Vistula Bay or Vistula Gulf.
The lagoon is a mouth of a few branches of the
VistulaRiver, notably the Nogat, and the PregolyaRiver. It is connected to Gdańsk Bay by the Strait of Baltiysk.
Localities on the lagoon include
Kaliningrad, Baltiysk, and Primorsk in Russia's Kaliningrad Oblastand Elbląg, Tolkmicko, Frombork, Krynica Morskain Poland. The Polish port of Elblągused to see a substantial amount of trading traffic on the lagoon, but that has declined owing to the current border situation. Kaliningrad and Baltiysk are currently major seaports on the lagoon.
Digging a canal to connect the lagoon with the Baltic Sea is in consideration as a major EU-supported project. The canal, 1 km in length, would re-activate the Elblag port. It would also free its dependence on Russia, which time and again revokes the right of passage for Polish ships through
Strait of Baltiyskas a form of pressure on Polish authorities. It would cost an estimated PLN 80 million. However, major ecological considerations stand in the way. For example, mammal migrationalong the lagoon could be disrupted. Also, the inflow of brackish waters from the Baltic sea could result in serious unbalancing of the lagoon's freshwater ecosystem.
From 1871 until 1919, the Lagoon was part of
German Empire. Between 1919 and 1945 it was split between Germany and the Free City of Danzig. From January until March 1945 throughout the Evacuation of East Prussiarefugees from East Prussiacrossed the frozen Lagoon on their way to the west after the Red Armyhad reached the coast of the Lagoon near Elblag. Attacked by fighter aircraft thousands of them were killed or broke through the ice. Today the Vistula Lagoon is politically split between Polandand Russia's Kaliningrad Oblast.
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