Vendée, France

30/05/11

This was a tricky fight which shows that even when we are victorious we need to stay vigilant. The fight was launched once more in May 2011, as a response to a seawall construction project which threatened the ‘Embarcadère' Wave that is located in the town of Tranche-sur-Mer in the southern Vendée Department. This legendary surf spot for beginners and experienced surfers alike had already been threatened in 2008 and again in July 2010 by coastal artificialisation projects with the view of facilitating beach access for pleasure boats. Both times, public mobilisation helped us win this battle. In 2011, however, the fight started again, and it was once again question of a potential seawall construction bearing the risk of the complete disappearance of the wave.

For a third time, the local population got mobilised against the project thanks to the Keeper's commitment and his work in the field, backed by the Association for the protection of the local Environment. Thanks to his petition the wave was taken into account in the planning of the works. In May 2011 however, without consulting the local population and without having notified the Departmental Directorate for Maritime Affairs (DDAM) on the works or received authorisation, the council of Tranche-sur-Mer began work on the seawall on the site of the Embarcadère.

The Keeper acted at once, and so did many individuals and associations. Following a meeting with the DDAM, the town council had to give in and withdraw all rock deposits they had planted illegally at the site.

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