HASfter the fauna and flora, the waves are also threatened by climate change. As revealed by France 24, the mayor of the town of Saint-Pierre-Quiberon took the decision last February to create “a wave reserve”. A first in France. According to the municipal decree, the aim is to prohibit any new construction near the seafront. In all, 30 hectares of the municipal territory are targeted by this decision of the mayor. According to the city councilor, the objective is to take measures to avoid building new works intended to cope with the rise in water levels.

Indeed, in a context of climate change, the sea level is scrutinized by many local actors in France as in the rest of the world. Often, local authorities choose to build new structures to protect their territory from rising waters. In other cases, the objective is to expand port infrastructure. Thus, according to Erwan Simon – member of an association for the defense of biodiversity and at the origin of the municipal decree, in Anglet (Pyrénées-Atlantiques) –, “the closed off, [qui] was a world famous wave, […] did not survive the construction of two large dykes to expand the port of Bayonne”. An argument heard by the mayor of the Breton town, Stéphanie Doyen. ” [Cette vague] has a heritage aspect, with people who come to stay here to surf it, others to smell its spray,” she told our colleagues.

According to the biodiversity advocate, waves are necessary to ensure a good balance within the marine ecosystem. “There is life above and below. They come to oxygenate the marine environment. They turn over the sand, bring up shells, which serve as food for fish, themselves hunted by seabirds. »

READ ALSOPhébé – Climate change, global threat, national challenge

Some precedents elsewhere in the world

Although this decision is unique in France, it is not the case worldwide. Indeed, some American, Peruvian or Australian localities have taken the same kind of decision. For Australia, the stakes are even higher as the tourist industry and the practice of surfing are culturally and economically important for the country. In Peru, a law was adopted in 2013. According to the text voted by parliamentarians, any construction that could impact the seabed or the currents is prohibited up to 1,000 meters upstream from the place where the waves form.

On the Breton side, the decision remains above all symbolic. Indeed, it is difficult to imagine that such an order in such a small geographical area would be sufficient to sustainably protect the waves hitting the coast. However, according to Erwan Simon – still questioned by our colleagues – it is not a shot in the dark. He says he wants to alert Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne – in charge of Ecological Planning – as well as Amélie de Montchalin, Minister for Ecological Transition.

READ ALSOBaverez – We are all on the same ocean


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