||The freshwater lake Voulkaria is situated in the centre of the Sterna peninsula, at the north-western part of Aitoloakarnania prefecture and southwards of the entrance to the Amvrakikos Gulf. It covers an area of approximately 940 ha. This area shows strong water level fluctuations depending on the annual rainfall. Voulkaria is a shallow lake with maximum depth of 2.5 m. It is developed on a tectonic graben and is considered to be the result of combined action of: 1) tectonics, 2) karstification, and 3) sedimentation of clastic materials (gravel, sand, clay). Later some Neogene sediments of lacustrine or coastal origin, were deposited in the area, and covered by alluvial deposits. The wider area of the lake consists mainly of Mesozoic limestones and dolomites, Neogenic sediments (marls, sandstones, conglomerates), as well as alluvial deposits (Leontaris, 1972). The greatest part of the plain surrounding the lake comprises mainly a series of streams and smaller water courses with varying deposits. Peat formation takes place in wetland areas where no agricultural activities are present. The lake has a large drainage basin, which to the west comprises the eastern part of Asprochorto hill and on the other sides a plain area with extensive agricultural fields. Voulkaria has vague marshy sides and is connected to the sea by an artificial ditch with a length of 1400 m. This ditch (named "Agios Nikolaos" or "Kleopatra") is at the western part of the lake and empties into Agios Nikolaos bay. During the winter, when the lake overflows, a flow of water from the lake to the sea is observed, while during the summer the opposite flow is encountered. This summer flow resulted in the increase of salinity of the lake, which strongly influenced agricultural activities within the surrounding area. This problem has already been confronted since 1964 by controlling the entrance of sea water by closing the ditch during the summer. Near the ditch, water ponds and marshes with grassy vegetation including Carex vulpina, C. divisa, Eleocharis palustris, Juncus heldreichianus, Equisetum telmateia, and Oenanthe silaifolia, etc. occur. In the middle of the infralittoral zone of this side, the species Nympaea alba, and Potamogeton nodosus are observed, while in the lower infralittoral zone the species Myriophyllum spicatum and Potamogeton lucens predominate (Koumpli-Sovantzi, 1983). The water has a pH of 6.5 and in several places the species Hydrocharis morus-ranae is present (Economidou, 1981). At the littoral zone of the lake the herbs predominate forming extensive grasslands, while shrubs (Vitex agnus-castus, Rubus ulmifolius, Paliurus aculeatus, Myrtus communis, Tamarix sp. etc.) and riparian trees (Salix, Ulmus, Fraxinus etc.) occur sporadically forming clusters mainly at the south-eastern side of the lake (near Fraxias). A characteristic feature is that within the upper infralittoral zone, the species Phragmites australis, grows in an almost continuous zone of considerable width. In the extensive reed beds, the species Typha domingensis, Carex vulpina, Pulicaria dysenterica, Cladium mariscus, Lythrum salicaria, Lycopus europaeus, Eupatorium cannabinum, Calystegia sepium, Samolus valerandi, Mentha aquatica, etc., exist. To the west of the lake the rocky hill of Asprochorto exists, where shrubby vegetation along with cultivated olive trees grow. Saltini (or Salini) is a very shallow salt or brackish, coastal lake, which covers an area of about 210 ha. It is situated in the northern part of the Sterna peninsula, to the south of Aktio airport. The area around it is of flat relief and extended agricultural fields and grasslands occur there. East of the lake, under Stoupa hill, extensive fields with olive trees and grassland are observed. On the northern side of the lake beside the dirt road, which separates this site from the airport, grasslands with Asphodelus aestivus, Dittrichia viscosa, Romulea bulbocodium etc., exist. In several places, characteristic vegetation with Juncus is developed. At the verges of this road, as well as at the field boundaries shrubby vegetation with Pistacia lentiscus, Myrtus communis, Quercus coccifera, Arbutus unedo, Laurus nobilis, Paliurus spina-cristi, Erica, Rubus etc. are observed. At the same side there is a ditch which collects excess water from the airport area, directly into the lake. At the eastern side of the lake, grasslands with Aspodelus aestivus, Romulea bulbocodium, Ranunculus ficaria, Ornithogalum etc. and scattered shrubs of Quercus coccifera, Pistacia lentiscus and Rubus are also observed. The predominance here of Aspodelus aestivus shows that this area is overgrazed. At the Ano Pounta, east and south-east of the lake, agricultural fields with olive trees, greenhouses and grasslands occur. On the lake sides a narrow reed zone with Phragmites australis is present. This species, as well as Typha domingensis, are also observed at the drainage ditches. The arborescent riparian vegetation is represented by insignificant scattered clusters mainly with Ulmus and few Salix trees at the west and south-eastern parts of the lake. On the south side of the lake there is an artificial ditch, which links the lake with the Ionian Sea. This ditch supplies the lake with fishes from the sea.