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.

Ensuring environmental communication, awareness, and education

Ensuring environmental communication, awareness, and education

Ensuring environmental communication, awareness, and education

Découverte de Pinel - Exploring Pinel
Découverte de Pinel - Exploring Pinel

A group of 20 kids from Milton Peters College, a middle school on the Dutch side, accompanied by their guests from The Netherlands, were able to explore the terrestrial and marine flora and fauna on the small island of Pinel, with the help of the Réserve Naturelle. On foot, or outfitted with a mask, snorkel, and fins, they were made aware of the problems caused by Sargasso seaweed, the decline of the water quality along the coastline, and invasive species, as well as free services provided by nature for the benefit of mankind such as the production of fish, protection against the elements, and water purification. These activities seem even more important to the students in the context of climate change that directly impacts our islands.

Bienvenue à Pinel - Welcome to Pinel

EDF a participé à la Fête de la Nature - EDF participated in the Fête de la Nature
EDF a participé à la Fête de la Nature - EDF participated in the Fête de la Nature

When the staff of the electric company, EDF Archipel Guadeloupe asked, the Réserve Naturelle organized an excursion in the Galion mangrove. This event, which took place on May 25 as part of the Fête de la Nature 2019, served to promote awareness of the diversity of the flora and fauna that exists in this often under-estimated milieu. This marshy coastal forest helps stabilize the land closest to the sea, purify runoff water, produce a large number of fish, crustaceans, and birds, and it represents the last rampart against bad weather conditions and the swell. The participants at the event were able to observe fish, crabs, and wading birds, as well as contribute to the task of collecting trash that is sadly left along the borders of this protected natural site. Hoping that the participants will now be ambassadors, and carry the message of awareness for a better understanding of the mangrove, an important asset that is part of the island’s natural heritage. The Réserve Naturelle is also pleased with the increased popularity of bird watching and the growing number of visitors attracted by the rich diversity of birdlife in Saint Martin.

Nicolas Maslach filmé par l’équipe de Thalassa Nicolas Maslach filmed by the Thalassa team
Nicolas Maslach filmé par l’équipe de Thalassa Nicolas Maslach filmed by the Thalassa team

Shown on France 3 TV on March 20,2019 and presented by Fanny Agostini, Thalassa’s “Facing The Anger Of The Sea” dedicated a large part of its program to Irma “an unprecedented monster,” and its consequences in Saint Martin. For example, the mangrove, 90% destroyed at Galion, played its capital role in the protection of the coast and the population. And diving at Tintamare reveals that the underwater milieu there suffered less than the terrestrial landscapes, and that life continues quietly there, in spite of Irma. The reporting concluded with the observation that it is vital for humankind to adapt to nature, rather than try to adapt nature to man’s needs, especially in terms of urban development. A challenge not only for Saint Martin, but for the entire world.

Léa Bernier, age 14, a 9th grade student at Collège Descartes, intends to pursue a career in environmental affairs. She made a first step in this direction on February 25-March 1, at the Réserve Naturelle, where she completed the sequence of observation in a professional milieu that is obligatory for all 9th graders. She primarily participated in the scientific study of the birds in the salt ponds and was taught how to count the different species.

A demarcation buoy from the Réserve Marine in Saint Barthélemy had been stationed offshore from the beach in Grandes Cayes since hurricane Irma. It had broken its chain and floated toward Saint Martin during the storm, but has now been transported to the eco-site by the Réserve Naturelle, whose agents had taken off the top of the buoy, which will be used as an artificial reef after it is cleaned.

A crew from Ushuaia TV visited Saint Martin in late January to shoot a segment on the consequences of hurricane Irma, which the producers referred to as “an unprecedented experience: climatic change”. Titled “Under The Chaos, The Beach,” the program was broadcast on Saturday June 23 and Thursday, June 28, and will remain accessible on the Ushuaia TV website. The Réserve Naturelle was called upon for the environmental section of the program. Julien Chalifour, Chris Joe, Ashley Daniel and Vincent Oliva took the video crew to Pinel, Tintamare, and Rocher Créole, aboard the boat belonging to the Réserve. They also took them under the waves, for an underwater shoot at the Remorqueur site on Tintamare.

Beautiful article by Alexis Valois and Alexis Rosenfeld in the July edition, number 449, of the magazine Ça m’intéresse. In Saint Martin after Irma, the couple went diving with the team of the Réserve Naturelle and has assessed the adaptability capacity of corals for their survival, faced with numerous external threats.

? Top