Kocacay Delta, Turkey


Kocacay delta, situated 25 km north of Bursa Karacabey, is on the southern coast of Marmara Sea. This delta is particularly important for the habitat due to the lagoons, flooded forests and wide sand dunes formed where Kocacay meets the sea. The area includes two shallow lagoons, namely Dalyan and Arapciftligi. The south side of the delta is lined by hills covered with deciduous forests. The areas coastal section is frequented by the locals as a day-trip destination. The land between the lagoons and the hills is used for agriculture. Flooded forests and wetlands are being used for grazing animals. Fishing activities in the lagoons is an important source of income in the area. Other land uses include woodcutting, sand extraction and collection of wild plants.

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Basic Data
NameKocacay Delta, Turkey
SiteMudanya, Karacabey
Accuracy of LocationMEDIUM regional level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Water Management
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Water access rights and entitlements
Landfills, toxic waste treatment, uncontrolled dump sites
Tourism facilities (ski resorts, hotels, marinas)
Specific CommoditiesLand
Domestic municipal waste
Sand, gravel
Biological resources
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsThe increase in tourism has a negative effect on the area and the number of constructions keeps increasing day by day. The sand dunes, used as a source of sand requirement for constructions, are losing their natural quality. Sand extraction, done also in the spring, is affecting the breeding success of the birds.

One of the main problems in the area is the increased pollution burden due to Bursas waste water that gets carried into the Kocacay delta by the Nilufer creek. Yenikoys waste dump is also located in the area. A pool collecting wastewater of a nearby sewer is at the same spot.

Although the initiative for a shipyard construction along the shore has been momentarily stopped, it remains as a potential threat. Another threat to the nature is caused by a planned poisoning of predators to provide a chance of revival in the pheasant population that is known to have naturally existed in the area.

Project Area (in hectares)6979
Type of PopulationRural
Start Date1995
Relevant government actorsGovernorship of Bursa, Bursa Provincial Forestry, Water Affairs Directorat, Nature Conservation, National Parks Unit
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersDoga Dernegi (Nature Association), http://www.dogadernegi.org/, Uludag University Birdwatching Club (ULUKUS)
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)LATENT (no visible organising at the moment)
When did the mobilization beginMobilization for reparations once impacts have been felt
Groups MobilizingLocal ejos
Recreational users
Local scientists/professionals
Forms of MobilizationCreation of alternative reports/knowledge
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil contamination, Soil erosion, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality
Potential: Desertification/Drought
Health ImpactsPotential: Other environmental related diseases
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Loss of livelihood, Loss of landscape/sense of place
OtherDifficulties in access to water
Project StatusIn operation
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseInstitutional changes
Application of existing regulations
Development of AlternativesIn 2004, Kocacay Delta was nominated as a Ramsar site by the National Wetlands Committee. Doga Dernegi (Nature Association) and Uludag University Birdwatching Club (ULUKUS) observe the birds of the area regularly and perform a mid-winter waterfowl count. Arapciftligi lagoon is the research site of Uludag University Faculty of Aquaculture where commercial fishing is forbidden.
Do you consider this as a success?Not Sure
Why? Explain briefly.On-going conflict
Sources and Materials

Ramsar Convention
[click to view]


Doga Dernegi (Nature Association), 2006, Key Biodiversity Areas of Turkey: Kocacay Delta, pages 124-125.


Save the Kocacay Delta (webpage in Turkish):
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorCem Iskender Aydin
Last update08/04/2014