Landes, France


Serious pollution at the mouth of the Huchet River, in close vicinity of a nature reserve. The area had accumulated litter of all sorts, particularly in the strand line, including driftwood, plastics, large amounts of mermaid's tears, bio filters, and plastic micro-waste. The currents, the tides and the wind had amassed a ‘crust' of carbonised litter, about 40 centimetres thick. Several tens of meters long, it spread all the way into the dune and its vegetation.

Many steps were taken to make the authorities aware of this alarming pollution. The Sud-Landes Chapter, the Keeper and Surfrider were invited by the Director for Environment of the Landes Council to try and find a sustainable solution together. The chapter also suggested the participation of volunteers on ‘nature yards', consisting in manually collecting litter from nature areas. Following the storm of 2010, when large quantities of litter were washed up at this location, a clean-up was organised in the course of which nearly 3 m3 of waste were collected from a 300 m long strip of beach.

After numerous meetings and discussions, ‘nature yards' were set up to help fight this type of pollution. The Keeper of the Coast considers this battle won due to the fact that all concerned agents have been made aware of the issue and actions are being implemented for the long term.

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Marine Litter

8 million tons of waste are thrown into the ocean each year – 80% of which is plastic.

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