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The Curonian Lagoon
Curonian Lagoon
(or Bay, Gulf; Russian: Куршский залив, Lithuanian: Kuršių marios, Polish: Zalew Kuroński, German: Kurisches Haff, Latvian: Kuršu joma) is separated from the Baltic Sea
Baltic Sea
by the Curonian Spit. Its surface area is 1,619 square kilometers (625 sq mi).[1] The Neman River
Neman River
(Lithuanian: Nemunas) supplies about 90% of its inflows; its watershed consists of about 100,450 square kilometres in Lithuania
Lithuania
and Russia's Kaliningrad Oblast.[2]

Contents

1 Human history

1.1 Kursenieki

2 Natural history and ecology 3 See also 4 References 5 External links

Human history[edit]

Landsat photo

In the 13th century, the area around the lagoon was part of the ancestral lands of the Curonians
Curonians
and Old Prussians. Later it bordered the historical region of Lithuania
Lithuania
Minor. At the northern end of the Spit, there is a passage to the Baltic Sea, and the place was chosen by the Teutonic Knights
Teutonic Knights
in 1252 to found Memelburg castle and the city of Memel — officially called Klaipėda
Klaipėda
in 1923-39, when the Memel Territory was separated from Germany, and again after 1945, when it became part of the Lithuanian SSR. As the new interwar border, the river that flows into the Curonian Lagoon near Rusnė
Rusnė
(German: Ruß) was chosen. The river's lower 120 km in Germany were called die Memel by Germans, while the upper part located in Lithuania
Lithuania
was known as Nemunas River. The border also separated the peninsula near the small holiday resort of Nida, Lithuania
Lithuania
(German: Nidden); the southern part of the Spit and the Lagoon remained in Germany until 1945. This border remains today as the border between Lithuania
Lithuania
and Russia, as after World War II, the southern end of the Spit and the German area south of the river — the part of East Prussia
East Prussia
with the city Königsberg
Königsberg
located in Sambia
Sambia
— became part an exclave of Russia called Kaliningrad Oblast. Kursenieki[edit] Further information: Kursenieki

Curonian-populated area in 1649

While today the Kursenieki, also known as Kuršininkai, are a nearly extinct Baltic ethnic group living along the Curonian Spit, in 1649 Kuršininkai settlement spanned from Memel (Klaipėda) to Danzig (Gdańsk). The Kuršininkai were eventually assimilated by the Germans, except along the Curonian Spit
Curonian Spit
where some still live. The Kuršininkai were considered Latvians
Latvians
until after World War I, when Latvia
Latvia
gained independence from the Russian Empire, a consideration based on linguistic arguments. This was the rationale for Latvian claims over the Curonian Spit, Memel, and other territories of East Prussia which would be later dropped. Natural history and ecology[edit] The Lagoon, formed about 7,000 years BCE, is classified as brackish.[3] Water depths average 3.8 meters.[4] It is highly biodiverse, although troubled by water pollution.[3] The presence of algal blooms was confirmed in the 2000s.[4] See also[edit]

Nemunas Delta Vistula Lagoon

References[edit]

^ "Curonian Lagoon". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 2009-10-17.  ^ I. Ethem Gönenç, Angheluta Vadineanu (2008). Sustainable Use and Development of Watersheds. Springer. ISBN 978-1-4020-8557-4.  ^ a b "Site name:Lithuanian coastal site". Vilnius University Ecological Institute. Archived from the original on 2011-07-20. Retrieved 2009-10-17.  ^ a b "Toxic cyanobacteria blooms in the Lithuanian part of the Curonian Lagoon" (PDF). Institute of Oceanology of the Polish Academy of Sciences. Retrieved 2009-10-17. 

External links[edit]

Kurische Nehrung (German)

Coordinates: 55°05′34″N 20°54′59″E / 55.09278°N 20.91639°E / 55.09278; 20.91639

v t e

Tributaries of the Neman
Neman
River

Main tributaries of the left bank

Usza Shchara Zel’vyanka Świsłocz Šešupė

Main tributaries of the right bank

Western Berezina Kotra Merkys Neris Nevėžis Dubysa Mituva Jūra Minija

Distributary

Nemunas Delta Atmata Pakalnė Skirvytė Gilija Curonian Lagoon

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 248115

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