With its 550 km2 of surface area is the largest wetland of the Mediterranean. It is divided from the sea by a strip of barrier islands, the littoral, that runs for about 60 km, interrupted by the lagoon inlets of Lido (800 m wide), Malamocco (400 m wide) and Chioggia (380 m wide). Inside the lagoon basin are Venice, Chioggia and more than 50 islands, among which Murano, Burano and Torcello; about 40 km2 of salt marsh (low-lying areas which are covered with halophytic vegetation); a 1,500 km network of canals that ensures the propagation of the tidal currents. The depth of the lagoon is generally between 1 m and 3 m.

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