Bafa Lake triggers ecological alarm bells after turning green and releasing toxic foam
AYDIN - Doğan News Agency
The contamination of the lake, located northeast of the resort city of Bodrum, is mainly due to the increasing use of pesticides at farms. DHA PhotoAnother of Turkey’s best preserved natural areas is at increasing ecological risk, as the largest lake in the Aegean region, the Bafa Lake, has turned green and started to release toxic foam, with experts sounding the alarm bells.
According to experts, the lake is now showing signs of “eutrophication,” a process caused by an excessive proliferation of phosphate that could turn it into a swamp. They are urging the adoption of quick measures to prevent the extinction of fauna in the area.
The contamination of the lake, located northeast of the resort city of Bodrum, is mainly due to the increasing use of pesticides at farms in the provinces of Aydın, Uşak and Denizli, which are then carried via tributaries of the Büyük Menderes River.
“The proliferation of poisonous algae that started years ago along the coast near the villages of Kapıkırı and Gölyaka has now started covering the surface of the whole lake. The Bafa Lake is now close to entering the hypereutrophic stage, which is accepted the last stage of a lake’s lifecycle,” said Erol Kesici, a biologist at Süleyman Demirel University, who is following developments at the lake on behalf of the Association of Nature Lovers and the Protection of Ecosystems (EKODOSD).
The head of the association, Bahattin Sürücü, said locals were unable to cope with the degradation of the Bafa Lake.
“The worst situation is in the villages of Kapıkırı and Gölyaka, where many touristic facilities operate. This portion of the lake is in a very bad shape and releases a very bad smell. The locals are helpless,” said Sürücü, emphasizing that current awareness of the issue was not enough.
“We need to bring those who are causing this pollution to the Bafa Lake to show how they have destroyed the beauty and the ecosystem around the lake and how they have affected the lives of people living here,” he said.
Bafa Lake, declared as a protected natural area in 1994, is also known as one of Turkey’s most important havens for migrant birds.