Case study:Camargue’s former saltworks

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Location: 43° 25' 2", 4° 37' 56"
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Project overview

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Status In progress
Project web site http://www.conservatoire-du-littoral.fr/siteLittoral/483/28-etangs-et-marais-des-salins-de-camargue-13_bouches-du-rhone.htm
Themes Environmental flows and water resources, Fisheries, Habitat and biodiversity
Country France
Main contact forename Marc
Main contact surname Thibault
Main contact user ID
Contact organisation TOUR DU VALAT
Contact organisation web site http://tourduvalat.org/en/
Partner organisations
Parent multi-site project
This is a parent project
encompassing the following
projects
No
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Project summary

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The former saltworks of the Camargue are located in the southeast of the Rhône delta, in the Camargue Regional Natural Park and the UNESCO’s Man and Biosphere Reserve. This site represents a vast coastal area of over 6,500 ha in the municipalities of Arles and Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer. Developed for salt production in the 1960’s, the site was modified and managed with a human dominated water cycle during 50 years. In 2011, the site was purchased by the Conservatoire du Littoral. At that time, the main objectives for the site moved from salt production to wetland conservation. A restoration process through adaptive management was quickly put into place by the Conservatoire du Littoral (owner), the Regional Natural Park of the Camargue (coordinating manager), the Tour du Valat Research Institute and the Society for Nature Conservation (co-managers). Through these efforts, the site is becoming a highly dynamic and functional coastal wetland that reconnects the surrounding aquatic ecosystems within the Camargue Natural Regional Park. This site hosts important biodiversity and acts as a buffer against sea floods. While one of the main ambitions of the restoration project is to enhance biodiversity, the significant expansion of new halophytic vegetation can also set up a natural protective defense to reduce wave energy, height and speed induced by sea surge in the coastal lagoons, thus decreasing flood effects inland. Furthermore, coastal vegetation can help increase sediment and organic matter trapping, reducing flood risks. But most importantly, the site provides space set aside to mitigate responses to sea-level rise. This corresponds to recent scientific research recommending that “accommodation space” should be expanded by using “natural and nature-based features”.

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Image gallery


Flamants roses sur l etang du Fangassier
Le rassemblement par equipe a l aube
Vue Aérienne Du Site 2009
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Catchment and subcatchment

Catchment

River basin district Rhône - Méditerranée
River basin Rhône-Mediterranean

Subcatchment

River name Camargue’s former saltworks
Area category
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Site

Name Camargue’s former saltworks
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Desired post project morphology
Heavily modified water body No
National/international site designation
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Protected species present No
Invasive species present No
Species of interest
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Project background

Reach length directly affected (m)
Project started 01/01/2008
Works started
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Funding sources Water Agency, Private sector and State funding

Cost for project phases

Phase cost category cost exact (k€) Lead organisation Contact forename Contact surname
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Reasons for river restoration

Mitigation of a pressure
Hydromorphology
Biology
Physico-chemical
Other reasons for the project Landscape enhancement


Measures

Structural measures
Bank/bed modifications
Floodplain / River corridor
Planform / Channel pattern
Other Reconnection between the sea and the lagoons, installation of water sluices, artificial bird nesting islands.
Non-structural measures
Management interventions wetland management
Social measures (incl. engagement)
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Monitoring

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Monitoring documents



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Supplementary Information

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