Law and Effect
New Horizons in Environmental and Energy Law series
PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS An inland sea, the Black Sea is surrounded by Russia, Turkey, Ukraine, Georgia, Romania, and Bulgaria. The Black Sea shares flow to and from the Atlantic Ocean via the Mediterranean and Aegean Seas. Various straits including the Bosporus, Dardanelles, and Kerch connect the Black Sea to other water bodies. The Bosporus and the Dardinelles straits connection between the Black and Mediterranean seas is narrow but allows for some shared water flow. The Black Sea is primarily landlocked and it has significant interdependencies with populous cities along its coasts including Constanta, Istanbul, Odessa, and Sochi. Estimates of total population with direct use or interaction with the Black Sea are as high as 170 million (UNEP 2005d). In the last decade, the nations surrounding the Black Sea made up the third fastest growing region (Gültekin-Punsmann and Nikolov 2008). The Black Sea’s area is approximately 420 thousand square kilometers and it is on average approximately 2212 meters deep (BSC 2008). It is surrounded by mountain chains including the Balkanides-Pontides, Great and Little Caucasus, and Crimean. Supporting a large drainage basin, the Black Sea receives waters from outlets around Europe (BSC 2008). In addition, the Black Sea collects discharges of about 350 cubic kilometers of water from major rivers that include the Danube, Dniepr, Southern Bug, and Dnsiestr. This drainage results in significant sedimentation of the Black Sea. Rivers draining into the Black Sea carry urban runoff, industrial waste, and agricultural refuse into the sea (Doussis 2006). The sea is also...
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