Those who follow the Ria, realize that it is special.
Those who follow it, infiltrate it and get involved in it, can no longer be indifferent to it. It is beautiful in the inside. It is beautiful in the outside. And it always leaves the beholder with a certain twinkle in his eye. The identity of the Ria is increasingly sought after and respected.
Let's look at the innards of which flows such beauty: the waters. The estuarine system is richer than what is observable. It is estimated that there are hundreds of species of benthic invertebrates (small underwater animals) and over fifty kinds of fish (but it is also known that there is much more to be discovered). The mudflats and Atlantic salt meadows are very important habitats in Ria de Aveiro. These wooded areas of the lagoon periphery are very relevant for the nesting of big-size birds. The reed-sea and the morraça (kind of marshes vegetation) are only some examples. Mammals such as the rabbits, the fox, the weasel and the badger see these habitats as comfortable places. It is, for instance, in the wooded waterway that a large population of otters can be found.
The cockles and polychaeta are among the most characteristic invertebrate of Ria de Aveiro and are part of the food chain for upper-sized species. The eel and the sea bass are probably the two most characteristic Ria de Aveiro inhabitants. The fishing, the water sports and the tourism practiced in the waterways help to reinforce the inner beauty of the Ria. Now it's time to see the outer beauty: the earth and the sky, the people and their arts. Out of water, life gains wings. From an ornithological point of view it is possible to observe small birds flying over forests and agricultural areas, such as robins, marsh harriers, herons and ducks. But there are many more species of different kinds that, during the reproduction and migration periods, paint the Ria with bright colors.
The 1693 square kilometers of Ria and around 370 thousand inhabitants that populate it, make up the rest of the magical setting. There are so many different landscapes, that one gets the feeling that whoever did this painting used all the colors of the palette and, not happy, invented new ones. The Ria makes the difference with its splendid natural reserves, its unique architecture and the life stories written in the faces of its inhabitants. It is a region full of landscapes as diverse and charming as forests, plains, beaches, islands, lakes, canals and cities. Ria is beautiful indeed. Inside and outside. And that beauty doesn't run out, neither in space, nor in the hearts of those who guard it. The Ria hosts and snuggles. The Ria respects and deserves to be taken care of.