LAGOON - Preserving the Marine Environment of Oludeniz Lagoon


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Contact details:

Project Manager: Bayram Oztürk
Tel: +90 216 4240772
Fax: +90 216 4240771
Email: tudav@superonline.com

Project description:


Ölüdeniz Lagoon, located in Fethiye in southwest Turkey, is a very popular tourist area on the Mediterranean coast. It is one of the few areas along the Turkish coast that has still a “clean” marine environment. Several endemic species live in the area and the coastline consists of beautiful sandy beaches, bays, islands, islets and other fragile ecosystems. This natural habitat is also important for the survival of several sea birds and loggerhead turtles. However, there are four major causes of pollution: wastewater management, solid waste management, oil spills and heavy tourism. Although the lagoon was declared a “specially protected area” in 1990, protection measures are not up to the appropriate standards. While several national and international environmental institutions operate in the region, not much effort has been made to promote Turkey’s commitments to the existing resolutions and action plans for protected areas. Most notably, there is no strategy to protect endangered species and no emergency response plan in case of an accident. The participation of stakeholders and of the general public is also very poor.


The overall objective of the project is to contribute to the preservation of the marine environment of Ölüdeniz Lagoon, an area rich in biological diversity, for the benefit of future generations. Preservation efforts included environmental awareness building among local fishermen, tourism operators and other important stakeholders. The specific objectives of the project were to: • Establish a project co-ordination centre; • Design and manage an environmental monitoring system; • Prepare a booklet of legal and institutional arrangements; • Develop a dissemination programme; • Increase public awareness and participation; • Develop an education programme and • Develop eco tourism.


The project team established a local co-ordination centre in the Ölüdeniz town, where a laboratory for the monitoring of lagoon water was installed. During project implementation, water quality measurements were carried out along with various awareness-building events among local stakeholders, involving also regional and national related authorities and an alert system was set up. Several books and brochures were published that were aimed at both the general public and a more scientific audience. The beneficiary tried to persuade local tourism operators to increase ecotourism instead of mass tourism. Although local stakeholders, involved under a participatory approach, were less enthusiastic about the project than had been anticipated, the results of the project were highly appreciated by regional and national authorities. The Province Governorate of Muğla endorsed the beneficiary's approach to limit tourism activities in the most sensitive lagoon area and restrict construction (for example, benches and commercial buildings) on the lagoon's beaches. The Turkish Ministry of Environment and Forest, which is preparing emergency action plans for Turkish coastal areas, incorporated some of the main ideas developed by the LAGOON project into its policies. The protection of the Mediterranean Sea is one of the priorities in the Turkish Environmental Action Plan and is also foreseen in the programme for the transposition of the EU environmental acquis. Turkey has signed the Barcelona protocol on biodiversity, and the LAGOON project made a significant contribution to the inclusion of biodiversity analysis in the drawing up of local emergency and oil spill response plans.


Environmental issues addressed:


Habitats - Marine


butterfly‚  environmental monitoring‚  fish‚  lagoon‚  tourism‚  monitoring system‚  marine environment

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable



Coordinator Turkish Marine Research Foundation
Type of organisation NGO-Foundation
Description The Turkish Marine Research Foundation (TUDAV)is a non profit organization established in 1996 in order to increase knowledge on marine life by conducting research, initiating projects, publishing scientific studies and increasing public awareness. In 2000, TUDAV signed a protocol with the city of Ölüdeniz and its governor. It was specifically contracted by the Fethiye municipality to prepare an environmental action plan for the lagoon.
Partners None


Project reference LIFE02 TCY/TR/061
Duration 01-JAN-2003 to 31-DEC -2004
Total budget 335,675.00 €
EU contribution 224,972.00 €
Project location


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Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version