La Réserve naturelle de Saint-Martin est une aire marine protégée de 30km2 située au nord-est de l’île de Saint-Martin. Créé en 1998, cet espace préserve les cinq principaux écosystèmes de l’île : récifs coralliens, mangroves, herbiers de phanérogames, étangs et forêt sèche littorale. La Réserve gère également les 14 étangs du Conservatoire du littoral et ses 11 km de rivages terrestres naturels.

The Reefs: A Mixed Report

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Suivi scientifique du récif corallien - Scientific study of the coral reef © Julien Chalifour
Suivi scientifique du récif corallien - Scientific study of the coral reef © Julien Chalifour

How is the overall health of the reefs and underwater plant beds recovering since hurricane Irma? A question that Emma Bernardin, a third-year student at Jean- François Champollion University in France, tried to answer. She has been working on extrapolating the data collected during underwater dives led by the Réserve in 2018, within and outside of protected sites. For the plant beds, the feeling remains that they were only lightly impacted, with the station outside of the Réserve in Grand Case showing the most damage in terms of the density of the plants and eutrophication, since the water was over enriched with organic material. Concerning the reefs, a reduction in the overall coverage of the coral was observed especially outside of Réserve and in proximity to Orient Bay, where the reef is less than 10% covered with living coral. Irma also provided these stations with a major reduction in macro algae and algal turf.

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To promote the conservation of the coral reefs and related species

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