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The Burgas Lakes or are a group of coastal lakes of varying saltiness located around the Bulgarian city of Burgas in the proximity of the Black Sea. They constitute the largest group of lakes in the country and comprise some of Bulgaria's biggest and most important lakes. The lakes' total area (including swamps, marshes, ponds and other reservoirs) amounts to 95 km², of which 33.30 km² are either proclaimed or proposed protected areas that are inhabited by a large number of locally or globally endangered species of birds, fish and mammals. Apart from this, the Burgas Lakes are also of economic importance, used to obtain sea salt and curative mud, as well as to supply the local economy with fresh water, in the case of Lake Mandrensko.

The project is implemented on the territory of Burgas Municipality and is focused on three wetlands from the Burgas lakes complex – “Atanassovsko”, “Vaya” and “Mandra” lakes. These lakes are part of three protected areas from the ecological network Natura 2000.


Project Description

The idea of the project “Life for the Bourgas Lakes” is to ensure long term conservation of the protected areas from the ecological network Natura 2000 – “Mandra-Poda”, “Atanassovsko” and “Vaya” lakes which are important for the survival of priority bird species – Dalmatian Pelican, Pygmy Cormorant, Bittern, White-headed Duck and Ferruginous Duck.



  •  Maintain and enhance feeding, breeding and roosting habitats for priority bird species
  •  Reduce the direct killing of birds in the Burgas lakes
  •  Make the lakes accessible place for sustainable tourism and rest
  •  Enhance public understanding and support for the conservation of the lakes and their inhabitants  

Main threats for the protected area

  • Change or destruction of valuable habitats as a result of urbanization;
  •  Pollution of the water basins with different types of wastes – household, industrial or wasts from the construction sites;
  •  Noise pollution caused by the traffic on the international road to Turkey which passes through the PA;
  •  Change of the land use aimed at the realization of different investment activities.


Further information

The project is supported by the financial instrument of the EU LIFE+ Nature and Biodiversity. The duration of the project is 4 years (January 2010 – December 2013)