Morbihan, France



3rd May 2005, a ministerial decree, officially published on the 27th May 2005, grants 3 companies: The Rennes Dredging Company (la Société Rennaise de Dragage, subsidiary of Lafarge) Aggregates West (Granulat Ouest) and GSM (both subsidiaries of Italcementi), an exclusive license to dredge sand and other siliceous marine gravel for 2 years. The license is renewable to a maximum lifetime for the mining concession of 50 years and permits the extraction of 600 000 tonnes of sand per year. The license covers an area of 16 km2of sea bed in waters open the public, along the shores of Morbihan, between Quiberon and the island of Grox. The actual extraction zone itself will cover 4km without any understanding of its impact on biodiversity and marine currents.

Faced with the colossal concession to dredge sand and siliceous marine gravel granted by ministerial decree in March 2005, Surfrider has continuously monitored the situation and used its public image to support “The People of the Dundes” in their opposition to the project. At stake is the annual extraction of 600 000 tonnes of sand over a minimum period of 30 years, and all this 3 nautical miles from the Breton coastline, along the shores of Morbihan! Since then we have been monitoring multiple risks: unusually high erosion of the dunes, increased mixing of sediments with the water and zones endangered by the displacement of toxic sediments.  Faced with this operation, Surfrider has joined with local opposition and continues to report on their campaign activities via our web site and our newsletter “Planète Surf Initiative” (PSI). Alongside this we were part of the enormously successful mass demonstration in March 2007, organised by The People of the Dunes and other individuals, when 12 000 people gathered on the beach at Erdeven.

In July 2009, the Prefect of Morbihan officially informed the companies Lafarge and “Italcementi” the refusal of the state concerning the extraction of sand and gravel in the area of “Etel”. The reason for the refusal is the presence of ammunition in this area.

Although the reason given is a pretext for not to admitting the victory of the associations who have fought on this issue, we consider the result:

Stopping massive sand extraction offshore Morbihan.

This is a great victory for the collective "The people of the dunes" and Surfrider Foundation.

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Water quality
and Health

Waste from agricultural areas, urban areas, even sewage: many sources of pollution threaten the quality of our coastal waters.

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The passion for the oceans, the coastline and the pleasures animate everyone who supports Surfrider and guides the organization's action.


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