La Réserve naturelle de Saint-Martin est une aire marine protégée de 30km2 située au nord-est de l’île de Saint-Martin. Créé en 1998, cet espace préserve les cinq principaux écosystèmes de l’île : récifs coralliens, mangroves, herbiers de phanérogames, étangs et forêt sèche littorale. La Réserve gère également les 14 étangs du Conservatoire du littoral et ses 11 km de rivages terrestres naturels.

Réserve Naturelle de Saint-Martin


Journal #34 RNNSM

Réserve Naturelle de St-Martin


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Corail cerveau - Brain coral

IFRECOR—French Initiative For Coral Reefs— selected Saint Martin as the location for its twelfth national committee meeting, June 3-7, 2019, and asked the Réserve Naturelle to handle the onsite organization. Approximately 35 people are expected to attend, from France and overseas locations. A few local personalities will be invited to participate at the official opening, to be held at the CCISM on Monday, June 3. International and regional updates on the state of the coral reefs are on the agenda, as well as new topics suggested by committees in the Antilles. Working in smaller groups, the next few days will be dedicated to problems concerning the conservation of the coral reefs. The effects of climate change in tropical zones and the resulting impact on development of littoral areas will be presented, as will MERCI, the method to avoid, reduce, and compensate for such impact on natural sites. The ultimate goal is to define technical recommendations to avoid further degradation to our lifestyle and our natural environment.

In conjunction with this meeting, the Réserve Naturelle will be holding a contest for the most beautiful photo of the coral reefs and wetlands including the mangroves of Saint Martin. Prizes will be presented during the event.

Réserve Naturelle de St-Martin

To promote the conservation of the coral reefs and related species

Every year, between 15,000 and 20,000 tons of suntan lotion end up in the world’s oceans. This represents—along with global warming—one of the principal causes of coral bleaching. These chemical, toxic products, intended to protect our skin from UV rays, are like poison for the coral, as they modify its DNA and cause new shoots to die without the opportunity to develop. Information is getting out, so that consumers are asking for new kinds of sunscreens that are 100% organic and respect the environment. The Réserve Naturelle encourages swimmers to use these new products and will soon sign a sponsoring agreement with Alphanova. Located in Hyères (France), this company has developed suntan...+ infos

PLB, a publisher in Guadeloupe” has republished the collection, “La vie du récif” (Life Of A Reef), a boxed set containing three books: one on fish; one on coral; and one on creatures of the reef. Very popular with divers and underwater naturalists, these guides allow for the identification of species seen in the ocean and were designed for all who are passionate about marine life. They were updated for the occasion, and all of the managers of protected marine zones were asked to participate. Detailed information about the Réserve Naturelle of Saint Martin is included, as well as various aspects about the island such as underwater diving practices. The Réserve also happily shared its...+ infos

To promote the conservation of the sea turtle population

Trace d’une tortue venue pondre – Traces of a turtle to lay its eggs

In spite of the fact that it was a busy year in terms of reconstruction, the egg-laying season for sea turtles was observed as usual from March through November 2018. The team of eco-volunteers that covers the beaches in the hope of seeing traces of a turtle come to lay its eggs was reduced to 30 people in 2018. By early June, no traces had been seen but it was not call for alarm. In fact, at the time of this report, no fewer than 104 traces had been reported after 288 patrols were done. That does not mean that the turtles were less present on our beached in 2018. However it seems wise to take extra care of these turtles, in context of the fact that a majority of the eggs laid in 2017...+ infos

Julien Chalifour, who runs the turtle network in Saint Martin, also took part in the 3rd colloquium of the Sea Turtle Group of France, at the La Rochelle Aquarium on November 12-16 2018. Approximately 100 experts from France, the Atlantic Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, the Caribbean Sea and the Indian Ocean shared respective experiences in terms of conservation and the study of sea turtles, as well as their washing up on shore. This meeting has been for Julien Chalifour an opportunity to discuss ideas on subjects of interest to Saint Martin, notably the absence of treatment center for turtles that are sick or in distress, as compared to Reunion Island or Polynesia, where there are consequent...+ infos

On January 25, the Réserve Naturelle was questioned by the gendarmerie, which required its expertise in the context of several ongoing issues that involve work on certain beaches, in particular in the Lowlands, in order to estimate the damage that this work could cause to egg-laying sites for sea turtles. In fact, the reconstruction of the island post-Irma often encouraged owners of land along the beach to build walls along the shoreline, without realizing they were causing a problem for the reproduction of sea turtles by destroying their natural habitat, as turtles nest at the top edge of the beach. As all sea turtles and their essential habitats for reproduction and feeding are...+ infos

An injured turtle was spotted on February 19 in the bay of Marigot—where boat speeds are limited to three knots—by the personnel of Marina Fort Louis and Tradewind Charters, who immediately informed the Réserve Naturelle. The agents recovered the young green sea turtle, which was still alive, but signs of a violent impact with a boat propeller could be seen on its shell. An examination by a veterinarian showed that the spinal column of the animal had been ruptured. The turtle was paralyzed on the rear half of it body, thus unable to swim or reproduce. The only chance for survival would have been in an artificial basin of water for a long convalescence with uncertain results, but lacking...+ infos

To maintain or improve local conditions for marine mammal populations

Magnifique saut de baleine à bosse Magnificent jump by a humpback whale © Steeve Ruillet / Megaptera

Six beacons deployed, eight skin samples taken, a dozen photos of tail fins, and numerous recording of males singing. That recaps the positive results of Megara 4. MEGARA 4:

A Success! Maintenir ou améliorer les conditions d’accueil pour les populations de mammifères marins To maintain or improve local conditions for marine mammal populations Launched in 2014 by Nicolas Maslach as a scientific mission to study humpback whales, the fourth edition of MEGARA was held March 16-30 in the waters of Sint Maarten, Anguilla, Saint Barth, Saba, and Sint Eustatius, with proper authorization from these islands. The goal remains to develop a better understanding of the biology...+ infos

To maintain or improve local conditions for nesting bird populations

Camille Sanchez

A student at the Paul Sabatier University in Toulouse, Camille Sanchez has been working with the Réserve Naturelle since February 18 and will remain through mid-August. At the age of 28, she decided to study “Man & Biosphere” (MAB) as part of her master’s program in biodiversity management. In the spirit of UNESCO’s MAB program, this training requires knowledge of interactions between human activities and ecological systems, for a more sustainable management of natural resources. Her mission in Saint Martin consists of studying the populations of shorebirds that feed on the salt ponds, adding a sociological take to this scientific study.+ infos

To maintain or improve the ecological health of the salt ponds

Déversement d’eaux usées dans l’étang de Grand-Case – Dumping of wastewater in Grand Case pond

On May 1, the local branch of the Conservatoire du Littoral will meet with a civil service volunteer who will work on a two-year recovery project for the salt ponds in Saint Martin. A management committee will be formed to run the project, which will confront all of the current problems with the ponds: flooding, dumping of wastewater, debris... The goals are to recreate the original perimeters of the ponds, and most importantly validate the property boundaries with the land registry, before restoring the shores, as well as rebuilding the bird observatories and the wooden walkways destroyed by Irma, within a period of three years. The project also calls for a study of the water quality....+ infos

As residents were complaining about loud noise and debris between the main road and the Etang de Chevrise, agents from the Réserve Nnaturelle went to see what the problem was. There they could see that a mechanical shovel had dug between three and four meters deep, close to the funeral parlor, and a large volume of earth and rubble had been used to fill in below the pond, but not where the water is, and that area belongs to the Conservatoire du Littoral and is managed by the Réserve. Yet the nature of the material, especially in case of heavy rain, represents a real threat of creating silt in the pond, and the Réserve remains vigilant in its surveillance of this worksite. Additional...+ infos

  • A management committee for the local branch of the Conservatoire du Littoral will meet on April 2, 2019. Taking part will be the Réserve Naturelle as manager of Conservatoire’s sites, local officials, members of the Conseil des Rivages, the Tourist Office, the water and sanitation office, and the government as well as the DEAL
  • The Conseil des rivages français d’Amérique (Council for French shores in the Americas) of the Conservatoire du Littoral will meet in Saint Martin on June 17-21. A total of 80 members are expected to attend, primarily to validate projects presented by branches in Guyana, Martinique, Guadeloupe, Saint Barth, and Saint Martin
  • The 2006-
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Why bother to take your dumpster full of trash to the eco-site—and pay a modest fee to dispose of it properly—when it’s just as easy to discretely dump it along the route du Galion, in the Réserve Naturelle? But not with complete impunity! Bad luck for the driver of this truck, as a witness wrote down his license number and immediately called the Réserve, which recorded the offense and transmitted its report to the nautical brigade. Papers in the name of the owner were found in the trash, and this person explained that he had asked a local company to empty his apartment in the Residence Belvédère, which had been destroyed by Irma. The owner of the truck and his client had an audience...+ infos

Respecting the regulations and make sure the human activities allowed are compatible with the goals of the Réserve

Residents notified the Réserve Naturelle when they saw a horse on the land at Babit Point— land that belongs to the Conservatoire du Littoral and is managed by the Réserve. The veterinary services went to see about the horse, accompanied by agents of the Réserve and territorial police. Brought to the site by its owner, a resident of Oyster Pond, the animal had been left in an enclosure made of rebar and barbed wire, in the full sun, close to a shelter without a roof implanted illegally by its master. Present during the control, the owner was informed that he was using land belonging to the Conservatoire du Littoral without authorization. He explained that he had to quickly remove his...+ infos

A lot of criticism has been directed at the Réserve Naturelle, claiming “they aren’t doing anything,” when it comes to the container sitting on the side of the Coralita road, in the parking lot for the whale observatory. However, the container is sitting on private land and the Réserve is not authorized to act. The Operations Committee of the Environmental and Urbanism Police (COPOLENU) discussed the issue at great length to rule on the jurisdiction of the Collectivity in this matter. The Collectivity then sent a letter to the owner of the property. Stay tuned for the end of the story.+ infos

Called by the CROSS Antilles Guyana on February 15 close to 1:30pm, two agents of the Réserve Naturelle went to the rescue of two boaters in danger within the waters of the Réserve. Coming from the Dutch side toward Pinel aboard their 40’ cabin with its two powerful motors, the two men aboard went too close to the reef at Grandes Cayes and hit the coral reef before finding themselves immobilized and unable to maneuver, taking a lot of water into the hull and their propellers bent. Franck Roncuzzi and Julien Chalifour leapt to their aid aboard the Contender belonging to the Réserve and succeeded in towing the boat as far as the bay in Cul-de-Sac. The owner, an 82 year-old American, spent...+ infos

Ensuring environmental communication, awareness, and education

Nicolas Maslach filmé par l’équipe de Thalassa Nicolas Maslach filmed by the Thalassa team

Shown on France 3 TV on March 20,2019 and presented by Fanny Agostini, Thalassa’s “Facing The Anger Of The Sea” dedicated a large part of its program to Irma “an unprecedented monster,” and its consequences in Saint Martin. For example, the mangrove, 90% destroyed at Galion, played its capital role in the protection of the coast and the population. And diving at Tintamare reveals that the underwater milieu there suffered less than the terrestrial landscapes, and that life continues quietly there, in spite of Irma. The reporting concluded with the observation that it is vital for humankind to adapt to nature, rather than try to adapt nature to man’s needs, especially in terms of urban...+ infos

Léa Bernier, age 14, a 9th grade student at Collège Descartes, intends to pursue a career in environmental affairs. She made a first step in this direction on February 25-March 1, at the Réserve Naturelle, where she completed the sequence of observation in a professional milieu that is obligatory for all 9th graders. She primarily participated in the scientific study of the birds in the salt ponds and was taught how to count the different species.+ infos

A demarcation buoy from the Réserve Marine in Saint Barthélemy had been stationed offshore from the beach in Grandes Cayes since hurricane Irma. It had broken its chain and floated toward Saint Martin during the storm, but has now been transported to the eco-site by the Réserve Naturelle, whose agents had taken off the top of the buoy, which will be used as an artificial reef after it is cleaned.+ infos

Optimizing management means

Le projet original de l’ICBI – The original project of ICBI

It’s impossible to quantify the consequences of hurricane Irma in Saint Martin, but one of them impacts the creation of the Caribbean Institute For Insular Biodiversity (ICBI), a project led by the Réserve Naturelle since 2016. Located by the Etang de la Barrière in Cul-de-Sac, this project is currently the object of architectural and technical analysis, at the request of the Réserve. The marine flooding caused by storm swell exceeded the limits predicted in 2011 by the Prevention Plan For Natural Risks (PPRN), most notably in the bay of Cul-de-Sac where the waves inundated the first row of houses, with water over one meter high. So it is evident that the Réserve must make sure that the...+ infos

© Vincent Oliva

The call for proposals for the Conservatoire du Littoral’s much-anticipated development project around Galion beach will go out before the summer, comprising three phases. The first is for the demolition of recent walls, plus the cleanup and clearing of the site. The second is for excavation, roadwork, and various utilities, the goal being to return the area to its natural state as much as possible, and not build anything in concrete, except the road, which will be compacted and flattened. The third phase is for the installation of five picnic areas, a trash collection area, two ecological toilets, a wooden deck for a restaurant, and signage. A parking lot for up to 100 cars will be set...+ infos

Improving knowledge about our natural heritage and function of ecosystems

Mérou de Nassau dans un habitat artificiel Nassau grouper in an artificial habitat

À Rochefort, au siège de la Ligue pour la protection des oiseaux (LPO), du 19 au 23 novembre 2018, Julien Chalifour a participé au séminaire de lancement du LIFE BIODIV’OM, un projet européen visant à protéger cinq espèces mondialement menacées et un habitat prioritaire sur cinq territoires d’Outre-mer. Les cinq espèces menacées sont l’échenilleur de La Réunion - plus connu sous le nom de Tuit-tuit - le crabier blanc à Mayotte, le mérou géant en Guyane et à Saint-Martin, le mérou de Nassau à Saint-Martin et le moqueur gorge blanche en Martinique. La LPO coordonne l’ensemble du projet avec plusieurs contributeurs associés, dont la Réserve naturelle de Saint-Martin, aux côtés du Parc...+ infos

Aude Berger et Julien chalifour en formation Training for Aude Berger and Julien Chalifour

In January 2019, the Réserve Naturelle hired Aude Berger, who holds a diploma in ocean sciences and techniques and a professional degree in environmental protection from UAG, as head of the LIFE BIODIV’OM project. Her mission is a concerted effort for the conservation of the Nassau grouper and the giant grouper. This means fishermen and others who use the sea, including divers and boat owners, as well as local authorities, will be consulted and have an opportunity to participate in the creation of a conservation program. A socio-economic study was launched and exploratory fishing and diving expeditions will describe the recruitment of young groupers on small coastal seabeds. In addition...+ infos

Reinforcing local and regional commitment to the Réserve

Scientific director Julien Chalifour and Franck Roncuzzi, who is in charge of technique service and the nature police, represented the Réserve Naturelle at the annual forum for managers of protected marine zones. This was held in Saint-Gildas-de- Rhuys, in Brittany, November 6-8, 2018. The participants took part in different plenary sessions and technical ateliers over the three days of intensive dialogue and meetings. Topics included management of the public, methods to estimate the capacity of visits at a protected site, as well as the sharing of scientific resources thanks to a new tool that can be used by the network of Protected Marine Zones to share their experiences with the...+ infos


Nicolas Maslach

- Nicolas Maslach

Directeur et Conservateur de la Réserve Naturelle Nationale de Saint-Martin, assermenté.
Tel : 0690 38 77 71

Franck Roncuzzi

- Franck Roncuzzi

Responsable du pôle police de la nature et logistique, assermenté.
Tel : 0690 57 95 55

Julien Chalifour

- Julien Chalifour

Responsable du pôle scientifique, assermenté
Tel : 0690 34 77 10

Vincent Oliva

- Vincent Oliva

Responsable du Pôle Education à l’environnement, assermenté.
Tel :0690 53 59 01

Christophe Joe

- Christophe Joe

Garde animateur et technique, assermenté

Ashley Daniel

- Ashley Daniel

Garde animateur et technique,

Aude Berger

- Aude Berger

Chef de projet LIFE BIODIV'OM - Pôle scientifique .

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