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Ecosystemic management in the Blayais littoral marshes

Along the right bank of the Gironde estuary, in the town of Braud et Saint-Louis, the Terres d’Oiseaux ornithological park is located in the heart of the Blayais littoral marshes. The site, at the interface between land and sea, and in direct contact with the estuary, is a particularly favourable spot for the European eel. Terres d’Oiseaux, a partnership between the town (the land owner), ONCFS (national agency for hunting and wildlife) and Onema, serves to experiment new management techniques for this type of area. An ecosystemic approach addressing all the issues and constraints noted on the site was adopted to improve site functioning for fish species. The hydraulic operation of the site was the central issue. The goal was to recreate frequent interaction with the estuary waters (during tides), without creating a major work load for the site manager.

Contact: mathieu.chanseau@onema.fr

See the article at Onema newsletter no.10

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A data dictionary for wetlands

A data dictionary for wetlands is now being drafted by a group of experts under Onema management. The objective is to pave the way for standard terminology and provide a tool to facilitate the collection and sharing of data on wetlands. Such a tool will encourage the wide-scale use of data on wetlands. The work is being carried out in collaboration with Sandre, the National data reference centre for water. Over time, the goal is to ensure that all stakeholders in the wetlands field use the data dictionary and the proposed formats. The work group under Onema management has made an effort to understand the needs of the highly diverse stakeholders by bringing together experts on wetlands, on data management, data users, funding entities, etc.

Contact: caroline.penil@onema.fr

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Discover the national portal for information on wetlands

Intended for elected officials, experts, local governments, farmers, foresters, companies, engineering firms, simple citizens, etc., the national wetlands portal is managed by Onema and provides all the available information required to learn about wetlands and take action to preserve and restore them. That includes information on how to identify wetlands, understand how they function and the services they provide, the species they house, how to protect these sensitive environments and how to preserve and restore them. Also available are testimonials from elected officials, feedback from over 20 wetland preservation, management and restoration projects, and some 60 short films.

www.zones-humides.eaufrance.fr

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Symposium in Nantes on littoral wetlands and ecological continuity

Littoral wetlands, e.g. mud flats, lagoons, estuaries, salt marches, etc., may suffer from poor hydraulic management which can lead to silting and entrophication of the canal network, a reduction in water quality and loss of biodiversity. Onema brought together over 200 water managers, elected officials, Water agencies, river boards and environmental-protection groups in the city of Nantes on 30 September/1 October for a symposium titled "Making hydraulic management rhyme with ecological continuity in littoral wetlands". The meetings were an occasion to better understand the issues and functioning of littoral wetlands and to highlight the projects in the field that have improved the management of wetlands downstream of rivers by reconciling hydraulic management, the life cycles of species and human activities. The presented projects illustrated the possible synergies between European and national regulations. An "Onema Meetings" document soon to be published will recapitulate the presentations.

Contact:

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Reconciling ecological continuity and flood control

In the Wateringues area, the triangle formed by the delta of the Aa river between Dunkerque, Calais and St.-Omer, a historic draining network regulates water flows to avoid any risk of flooding. To enhance ecological continuity in the framework of both the European eel management plan and the project to renovate the installations, the Wateringues board, the site manager, installed fish passes for glass eels in the tide gates at Dunkerque. Onema carried out the initial study and the project was funded by the Water agency. An adjustable management system was selected with the opening of small doors in the tide gates to allow the passage of glass eels from April to October, which retaining flood-control capabilities.

Contact: anne.vivier@onema.fr

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Informative data sheets on wetlands

The national portal has published a set of informative data sheets that may be downloaded and printed. They are intended for wetland managers and for the general public. What are wetlands? What are the different types of wetlands? How do wetlands function and what services do they provide society? What threats weigh on wetlands and which regulations apply? Four data sheets supply information and answers to all the above questions. A fifth data sheet contains a a series of testimonials and feedback on projects, plus some ideas on how to preserve wetlands.

Download the sheets from www.zones-humides.eaufrance.fr/entre-terre-et-eau/comment-les-decouvrir

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Five regional wetland centres coordinated by Onema

The wetland centres were created as part of the first national wetlands plan in 2001 to assist local initiatives in favour of sustainable management of wetlands. The five centres are coordinated by Onema and each is specialised in a particular type of wetland, namely "Peat bogs and fens", "Mediterranean lagoons", "Atlantic marshes, English Channel and North Sea", "Ponds, inland wetlands and alluvial valleys" and "Overseas mangroves and wetlands". By pooling their knowledge and know-how, Onema and the five centres contribute to implementing an effective preservation and restoration policy for wetlands. The purpose of the collaborative effort is to share knowledge and good practices, and mobilise stakeholders to share their experience and improve their daily work.

For more information:

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