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Rehabilitation of abandoned saltworks to maximize conservation, ecotourism and water treatment potential

  • Authors (legacy)
    Crisman T.L., Takavakoglou V., Alexandridis T., Antonopoulos V. and Zalidis G.

Numerous saltworks have been abandoned throughout the Greek islands and mainland as
operations have decreased in number and increased in size. Such areas have great potential
for serving the broader society if rehabilitated correctly. Changes in landscape uses recently,
especially agricultural practices and rapid expansion of vacation homes and resorts in the
islands, have increased nutrient and sediment loading to coastal bays. Previously, streams
were diverted around saltworks on the coast to avoid contamination of the salt produced.
Rehabilitation of saltworks to accept stream input has great potential to treat nutrient and
other contamination from the landscape via natural biological processes of the ecosystem,
thus reduce loading to coastal areas and potential contamination of resort beaches.
Successfully rehabilitated saltworks will also provide enhanced nature conservation areas
that can become part of regional networks of ecotourism opportunities. Examples of the
potential for integrating rehabilitated saltworks within both the landscape and regional
economy of Greece will be discussed.

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