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The Camargue is located south of Arles, France, between the Mediterranean Sea and the two arms of the River Rhône delta. The eastern arm is called the Grand Rhône; the western one is the Petit Rhône. Administratively it lies within the département of Bouches-du-Rhône, the appropriately named "Mouths of the Rhône". A further expanse of marshy plain, the Petite Camargue (little Camargue), just to the west of the Petit Rhône, is in the département of Gard. The area was also the inspiriation for naming Operation Camargue during the First Indochina War. Camargue was designated a Ramsar site on December 01, 1986.
With an area of over 930 km² (360 sq. miles), the Camargue is western Europe's largest river delta (technically an island, as it is wholly surrounded by water). It is a vast plain comprising large brine lagoons or étangs, cut off from the sea by sandbars and encircled by reed-covered marshes which are in turn surrounded by a large cultivated area.
Approximately a third of the Camargue is either lakes or marshland. The central area around the shoreline of the Étang de Vaccarès has been protected as a regional park since 1927, in recognition of its great importance as a haven for wild birds, and was incorporated into the Parc Régional de Camargue in 2008.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia