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The « Marais Vernier – Risle Maritime » site recognized as wetlands of international importance


logo_mvrm_couleur_300dpiOn 18 December 2015, France designated Marais Vernier as the 44th French Ramsar Site. In Normandy, only the Mont Saint Michel Bay, the Marais du Cotentin et du Bessin and the Bay of Veys benefit from this label. Created in 1971 in Ramsar, Iran, the International Ramsar Convention is a worldwide treaty for the Oconservation and sustainable use of wetlands.


Wetlands, buffers to climate change


In addition to offering natural protection against coastal erosion, attenuating rising waters and supplying waterways during droughts, wetlands are veritable natural carbon sinks, lessening global warming and buffering the impacts felt by the populations. Carbon is usually captured and retained by vegetation via photosynthesis. Plus, when they are not deteriorated, bogs play a fundamental role: over thousands of years, the progressive transformation of vegetation into peat creates large quantities of carbon.


photos diverses juin 2015 123

La Grand’Mare

Did you know?

On a worldwide scale, bogs only cover 3% of Earth’s surface, but store twice as much carbon as forests (30% of the Earth’s surface).

Pour voir un magnifique documentaire réalisé par l’Agence de l’Eau Seine Normandie:

A major site for biodiversity


The « Marais Vernier – Risle Maritime » site spans more than 9,500 hectares, forming a vast estuary area composed of alluvial marshes, mud flats, estuarial waters, rivers and bogs. It includes Marais Vernier, which contains the largest peat deposit in France, its proximity to the Seine estuary and its size (4,500 hectares), making it one of the largest wetland areas in the Seine Valley; as well as the Maritime Risle region which, as a coastal river, acts as a transition space between salt and fresh water. This region is of high interest for sheltering animal populations, especially fish.

The site includes 43 different species of fish and welcomes many migrating animals. It is also an ideal breeding area for pike, brook lamprey and certain endangered species, such as the European eel. The wetland is also an important wintering ground (where birds can rest and refuel while waiting to return to their nesting sites) for migratory birds and welcomes a significant number of golden plovers and lapwings.

The threats to this site pertain mainly to actions for drainage in Marais Vernier as well as poplar plantations and many networks running through the site (high voltage lines, pipelines, etc.). An ecological management plan is in place for the Natura 2000 site, which completely covers the Ramsar Site.

Raise awareness to better protect


As part of this label, local actors (local authorities, the Regional Natural Park, associations, government organisations, etc.) are actively working to animate and enliven this Ramsar site in order to raise awareness about the issues of wetlands among residents and local officials and enhance the actions and projects for the restoration and ecological management of the site.

Logo RamsarFor more information RAMSAR website

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Visit Normandy - Marais Vernier

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