Zante Sights - National Marine Park - Holidays in Zakynthos
National Marine Park - Zakynthos Greece
The National Marine Park of Zakynthos (N.M.P.Z.) is the recently established marine park situated at the southern most part of the island of Zakynthos. The Presidential Decree for the establishment of the N.M.P.Z. was signed on the 1st of December 1999 by the President of the Greek Republic.
The Marine Park's objectives are to preserve the natural environment and conserve the ecological balance of the marine and coastal area of the Bay of Laganas and of the Strophadia Islands.
Within the Marine Park is the most important loggerhead sea turtle Caretta caretta nesting rookery in the Mediterranean, a habitat essential for protection.
The National Marine Park of Zakynthos is the first of its kind in Greece comprising of a Management Body and it will be an example for other areas in Greece requiring integrated management.
The Marine Park encompasses the marine area of the Bay of Laganas, the sea turtle nesting beaches and a zone of land adjoining them, the wetland of Keri Lake and the two small islands of Strophadia, which are 25 miles south from the island of Zakynthos.
It is worth noting that Greece is the only European country where the loggerhead sea turtles Caretta caretta nest, with Zakynthos being the most important nesting area in Mediterranean.
Furthermore the area is characterised by a variety of habitats, of European interest including sand dunes, Posidonia oceanica beds, the critically endangered Sea daffodil (Pancratium maritimum), submerged reefs, as well as hundreds of species of flora and fauna, some of which are of great importance.
It should also be noted that a resident population of the critically endangered species of monk seal Monachus monachus is present at the west coast of Zakynthos.
Within the marine area of the Park there are three zones:
* Zone A - no boat activity is allowed
* Zone B - boats are allowed with speed limit of 6 miles per hour; no anchoring is allowed
* Zone C - boats are allowed with speed limit of 6 miles per hour; anchoring is allowed
On land several restrictions protect the nesting beaches (no building, visitors are allowed on the nesting beaches from 7:00pm to 7:00am, control of the number of visitors etc). Furthermore restrictions on building and tourist development of the area are applied on the zones of land that adjoining the nesting beaches.