L’Albufera lake is one of the most valuable ecosystems in the Natural Park. But its ecological status is far from what it was a few decades ago. Up until the 60s its water was transparent and had a rich and varied aquatic vegetation and fauna. Fishermen say that not so long ago they even used to drink water directly from the lake.

Urban, agricultural and industrial growth in Valencia and the surrounding villages caused the degradation of the water quality of L’Albufera in the early 70s. Aquatic plants disappeared, as did most of the fish, molluscs, aquatic insects and small mammals. The lack of food also pushed away birds, whose population was reduced drastically.

Water in L'Albufera

Apart from these problems related to pollution and species’ disappearance, there was the issue of having less and less good quality water flowing into the lake. L’Albufera’s unfinished business is to recuperate the good status it had up to the 1960s.

Despite all this, L’Albufera lake still harbours more than 250 bird species who choose it as a place to feed, rest and breed.

L’Albufera has international recognition as one of the most important wetlands in the Mediterranean.

  • At Community level, it is declared as a Site of Community Importance (SCI, according to the Habitats directive) and Special Protection Area (SPA, according to the Birds directive).
  • At the international level, L’Albufera of Valencia is included in the prestigious RAMSAR list of “Wetlands of International Importance”.