Solar Saltworks have produced salt by solar evaporation of seawater since the dawn of human civilization. However, recognition of the unique coastal ecosystem that has progressively developed in parallel with the sea salt production process evolution, is often lacking.
Current, industrial Solar Saltworks consist of a system of interconnecting lakes in series, properly designed and constructed. The seawater enters (by tidal action or pumping) the first lake in the row and appropriate control gates regulate its flow into the lakes system. The incident solar radiation, assisted by the wind action, evaporates the seawater and develops a salinity vector in the lakes that results in salt crystallization in the latter lake in the row (physical process). That salinity vector, gives simultaneously rise to a characteristic chain of microorganisms throughout the lakes system, which grow in planktonic and benthic communities and consist of species that cover all existing domains of life, Eukaryotes, Bacteria and Archaea (biological process)!
The environmental uniqueness of Solar Saltworks lies on the fact they are Constructed Coastal Ecosystems where regular and hypersaline environments coexist establishing high significant shelters for wild life.
Competent Authorities should globally identify Solar Saltworks as Constructed Wetlands, similar to natural Saline Wetlands and include them in the list of protected ecosystems where human intervention helps the wild life. The establishment of an effective liaison between all persons interested in any aspect of Solar Saltworks is the key tool to meet our objectives.