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Preserving and restoring biodiversity

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The Marseille coast restores its marine biodiversity

Article published on 05.06.12

Dragonfly Zone, Saint-Just, watershed - wetland
The World Environment Day held Tuesday, 5 June, reminds us. As a major challenge in green growth, biodiversity is currently threatened, and the rate of extinction of living species is worrying. Aware of the stakes, SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT incorporates the “biodiversity value” upstream in its industrial operating cycles. Thus, at Marseille, its two French subsidiaries, SAFEGE and Lyonnaise des Eaux, act daily to preserve, restore and regenerate coastal biodiversity. Slide show on two major activities.


At Marseille, the GIREL (Infrastructure Management for Ecological Restoration of the Coast) project manages the ecological restoration of the marine environment at Maritime Port of Marseille (GPMM) sites. Selected by the Rhône-Mediterranean-Corsica Water Agency and the PACA Sea Division, this project, launched in May 2010, sets three major goals:

• develop a method to evaluate marine ecosystems and assist in decision making,

• define an action plan for the GPMM port environment,

• implement active measures to execute the plan.

The Old-Port of Marseille

Algae to strengthen coastal barriers

As operator of one of the three pilot tasks for the GIREL project, SAFEGE contributes to implementing the Cystore programme. This project consists of transplanting algae of the genus Cystoseira to enhance coastal developments. Beneficial for the environment, this algae strengthens the habitat and generates food resources in the marine ecosystem. To measure the effects of this transplanting, certain species are used as water quality indicators under the Framework Water Directive.


Larval incubators to regenerate marine biodiversity

To re-seed the Marseille coastline, Lyonnaise des Eaux is contributing to rolling out the BioRestore programme. Based on a technique developed by Ecocean, it accelerates the regeneration of marine biodiversity and strengthens its capacity to restore functioning and normal development. This consists of developing larval incubators and enlarging them through pisciculture. Once of the appropriate age, the larvae are reintroduced into the sea. The marine life cycle may then resume its course.

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Updated on 20.11.12