The Volga River drains much of western Russia’s industrial region as it travels southward to empty into the Caspian Sea. Over thousands of years, the river has built a tremendous delta that forms the northwestern shoreline of the Caspian Sea. The delta channels provide transportation between the heartland of Russia and the oil-rich Caspian Sea. The Volga’s extensive distributaries (branches to the sea) harbor habitat and rich fishing grounds for Russia’s famous beluga sturgeon, the source of beluga caviar.
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