People, Environment

Gorgan Bay Problem "Forgotten"

Gorgan Bay Problem "Forgotten"Gorgan Bay Problem "Forgotten"

Although Gorgan Bay is seriously threatened by drought and pollution, the situation does not seem important enough to merit swift action from the government, a provincial official said.

Covering an area of about 400 square kilometers along the southeastern part of Caspian Sea and considered as the largest gulf in the sea, the once-thriving Gorgan Bay is now on the brink of desiccation, and what little water remains there is threatened by pollution, ILNA reported.

Esmaeil Mohajer, the head of the Gorgan Province's office of the Department of Environment, criticized the government inaction over the critical situation of Gorgan Bay and bemoaned the fact that the bay has been forgotten."

The official declared that the province has not seen a dime of the 50-billion-rial ($1.2 million) budget for the bay's recovery.

"There hasn't even been a single meeting to discuss Gorgan Bay's conditions … Even the researchers seem reluctant to carry out the necessary studies," he added.

Mohajer noted that a large number of aquatic and plant species in the region are grappling with extinction due to the indifference of the authorities over the one-kilometer recession of the Caspian Sea's water, which has allowed urban and industrial sewage to flow into the gulf's water.

"Swift measures must be taken before it's too late," he added.

Mass industrial development along the north coast, notwithstanding the chemical, atmospheric and environmental pollutions and the dumping of millions of gallons of untreated sewage every year, has caused widespread damage to the bay.

A great numbers of contaminants, including organic and inorganic water pollutants, have the area messy and increased the risk of diseases such as hepatitis, skin diseases and inflammatory bowel diseases.

Mohajer said a fate similar to that of Urmia Lake awaits the bay.

Urmia Lake is the country's largest inland body of water, nestled between the provinces of East Azarbaijan and West Azarbaijan in northwestern Iran. Due to years of mismanagement, which saw the construction of a massive causeway across the lake and damming of key tributaries, the lake was nearing total desiccation.

However, the Urmia Lake Restoration Program has done an admirable job of reversing the lake's degradation since 2013, though the path to full recovery is still a long way away.  


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