The Étang de Vaccarès is a lake, or rather, a salt water lagoon (étang), in the wetlands, delta of the River Rhône. The lake has an area of 65 km², and the depth is less than two meters. It is the northernmost, and also the largest of the lakes of the Camargue, and constitutes the principal element in the water control system of the Rhône delta, which depends upon a strict management of water resources, through pumping, irrigation and draining stations making a complex network of channels throughout the river delta. The lake is also an important place for rest and food for migratory birds, and it also has a population of the greater flamingo. Because of its importance for wild birds, the Étang de Vaccarès with its surrounding wetlands has been protected as a nature reserve since 1927, and in 1972 it was incorporated into the Parc Régional de Camargue.