The Vistula Delta

  • Surface over 170 ths ha, about 120 ths ha of that area is mechanically drained
  • 250 ths. people live within the borders of Zulawy Delta, about 100 ths. of them live in the country side
  • Land of great diversity of nature resources and many protected areas
  • Area of the most fertile soil in Poland for farming
  • Area of an intensive large-industrial development - Gdansk, Elblag and Tczew
  • Area of important technical infrastructure corridors e.g. road, railway, water, pipeline, electrical power engineering
  • Part of the subregion of the Lower Vistula
  • Situated at the Vistula outlet– Poland’s greatest river – to the Baltic Sea
  • An important ecological area of this part of Europe
  • Situated in the cross-border area of the EU and the Russian Kaliningrad Region
  • Situated at the junction of the transeuropean corridors: VI and IA
  • Situated very close to the biggest urban area of the South Baltic Sea

  • Depression area – about 454 km2 of the surface area, preserved as land by the hydro technical devices; it cannot exist in this form in a natural way; this area is endangered by flood with a permanent submerge
  • Wetland adjacent to the depressions (with the height 0–2 m a.s.l.) – about 690 km2 of the surface area
  • Complex of Druzno Lake – the area of about 30 km2
  • Higher part of the delta – covering 526 km2; in this area slight flood phenomena can rarely occur

Zulawy economic development functions on account of efficient flood protection system due to specific natural and technical conditions as well as the Vistula Delta localization in depression area:

  • a thread of flood appearance is the highest in Poland
  • the situation demands the comprehensive programs which are prepared on account of the analysis of the existing flood thread and the state of the flood protection infrastructure
  • The cooperation between self-governmental and central administrations is required

Administrative division

The administration of the Vistula Delta is located within the borders of:

  • 2 regions (voivodeships) – Pomorskie and Warminsko-Mazurskie,
  • 10 counties (including two cities: Gdansk and Elblag,
  • 39 communes

Network of water routes

  • Martwa Wisla - from Przegalina Gdanska
  • Nogat - from Wisla to the outlet,
  • Szkarpawa - from Wisla to the outlet
  • Wisla – from the region border to the outlet to the Gulf of Gdansk
  • Vistula Lagoon (inland sea water)

220 km for inshore sailing
303 km for tourist sailing

Backwater Phenomena


Flood 2010

Ice jams

  • That phenomena of ice flow and ice jam appears mostly at the outlet of the Vistula river (the Vistula mouth)
  • The only way of fighting the danger is to use icebreakers to free the river waters
  • The state of alert lasts from December till March; 6 – 9 icebreakers are in use

Cone at the Vistula mouth

  • Cone makes difficult the boat navigation from the Gulf of Gdansk into the Vistula river
  • It makes difficult the outflow of the river waters
  • It causes the blocking of the river outlet

solution: further regulation of the river outlet


Main aim: To increase the effectiveness of the flood control and protection directly affecting the increase in sustainable development of the Vistula Zulawy potential
Action A – Security of Gdansk Water Junction
Action B – Protection from the Vistula floods
Action C – Protection from the Vistula Lagoon floods
Action D – Protection of the inner Zulawy
Action E – Flood risk monitoring
costs: 162 mln euro for years 2009 - 2015
336 mln euro for years 2016 - 2030

Cultural and Historic Heritage

  • The Vistula Zulawy is an exceptional area in Poland taking into consideration its natural conditions as well as human activities conducted there for a few hundred years.
  • Area of the high quality historical heritage including polders with rural housing exceptionally dispersed in some parts and congested in others, windmills, pumping stations, irrigation afforesting performing climatic and hydrological functions
  • Complexes of historical monuments – the castle of the Teutonic Knights in Malbork, Gdansk within the Medieval walls, houses associated with the Mennonite settlements, remains of Dutch settlements (XV c.)

The Loop of Zulawy

International Water Route E 70

© DeltaNet Project