Learn more about Vistula Lagoon
The Vistula Lagoon (Polish: Zalew Wiślany; Russian: Калининградский залив or Kaliningradskiy Zaliv; German: Frisches Haff) is a fresh water lagoon on the Baltic Sea cut off from Gdańsk Bay by the Vistula Spit. It is sometimes known as the Vistula Bay or Vistula Gulf.
The lagoon is a mouth of a few branches of the Vistula River, notably the Nogat, and the Pregolya River. It is connected to Gdańsk Bay by the Strait of Baltiysk. From 1871 until 1919, it was part of Germany. Between 1919 and 1945 it was split between Germany and the Free City of Danzig. The Vistula Lagoon is now politically split between Poland and Russia's Kaliningrad Oblast.
Localities on the lagoon include Kaliningrad, Baltiysk, and Primorsk in Russia's Kaliningrad Oblast and Frombork in Poland. The Polish port of Elbląg used to have a lot trading traffic on the lagoon, but that has declined owing to the current border situation. Kaliningrad and Baltiysk are currently major seaports on the lagoon.
Digging a canal to connect the lagoon with the Baltic Sea is in consideration as a major EU-supported project. The canal, 1 km in length, would re-activate the Elblag port and free its dependence on the Russians. It would cost an estimated PLN 80 million. However, major ecological considerations stand in the way. For example, mammal migration along the lagoon could be disrupted. Also, the inflow of brackish waters from the Baltic sea could result in serious unbalancing of the lagoon's freshwater ecosystem.