In our days the Ria lives in peace with men. However, before this agreement, there where learning periods that, by turning the History upside down, strengthened Ria's value and made it become more receptive to the future and to man's former respect for it.
It has happened before that the Ria wouldn't have any connection to the sea and this caused water stagnations, poverty and catastrophes. All of this was overcome when the Man helped the river to do its course: to flow into the sea. In order to achieve that, it was necessary to cut the seashore cord and thereby give back Ria's birthright of youth and freedom. As a way of gratitude, the Ria repaid the Man by giving him back his progress. And presented itself with a strategic geographical environment. A great amount of available natural resources were fundamental for the settlement of the population, which from early days on took advantage of them and also exploited the fields, thereby helping the Ria to morphologically be what it is today.
Man has been carving the ecosystem in a perfect consonance. Hereby resulted the opening of estuaries, the watercourses' dredging, which make the boat navigation possible and contribute for the increase of biodiversity. Ria de Aveiro, that was classified as a Special Protection Area and elected as a Site of Community Importance in the Rede Natura 2000 - the ecological network for the European Union sites, emphasizes not only it's landscape beauty, but also on how urgent its protection and conservation is, because it is a unique heritage in the region, in the country and in the Iberian Peninsula. The BioRia, an innovative project for the conservation of nature and biodiversity, is a good example for protection. BioRia is being capable of reviving the natural heritage of the region by giving value to its ecosystem. One of the successful plans was the creation of a Pedestrian and Bike Routes Network in permanent contact with nature.
Over time, it became inevitable that man would protect what was most beautiful. To identify only some locations is not easy, since Ria is wide and diverse. Every corner is beautiful and its simplicity numbs the most hurried ones, making them fall in love with it. Pateira of Fermentelos is a good example of this image. It is the largest natural lake in the Iberian Peninsula, a sensitive area and important wetland area, with a rich fauna and flora, where fish and ducks live with water lilies and club-rushes. There are many other species, some of them with national and international protection status.
The Reserva Natural das Dunas de São Jacinto is another example of a classified area and it is intended for the protection of wild fauna and flora and of natural habitats. Its relevance is related to the importance of the dunes in preventing sea advances and thereby protecting the present biodiversity, specially the seabirds.
Discover the natural side of the Ria! She awakens in us the wish to go there. To come back. To get more and more involved!