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

IRMA & Consequences...

Ravagée par le cyclone Irma, la Réserve naturelle de Saint-Martin a un besoin urgent de notre aide.
20 ans de travail réduit à néant et un besoin urgent de fonds pour réparer, reconstruire et réhabiliter dans les meilleurs délais.
Merci d'avance!

Cliquez ici pour soutenir la Réserve Naturelle de St-Martin Vs Irma

Destroyed by hurricane Irma, the Nature Reserve of Saint Martin urgently needs our help.
20 years of work destroyed in one night! They need funds to repair, rebuilt and restore.
Thank you very much in advance.

Click here to support Reserve Naturelle de St-Martin Vs Irma

Reserve Naturelle de St-Martin / IRMA



Journal de la Réserve Naturelle de St.Martin #29

Réserve Naturelle de St-Martin


Téléchargez le PDF:
Download PDF - Télécharger le PDF
Daniel Gibbes, Président de la Collectivité de Saint-Martin

Next year, our Réserve Naturelle will celebrate its 20th anniversary.

For close to two decades, the energetic and highly motivated staff of the Réserve Naturelle de Saint-Martin has successfully reconciled local issues with the overall conservation of our island’s rich biodiversity.

In Saint Martin, we have often felt that economic development conflicted with environmental protection. Yet the two go hand-in-hand. Our island thrives from tourism: if we don’t provide our visitors with beautiful places to visit, clean beaches, and clear water for swimming, they won’t come back! Maintaining our biodiversity and preserving the various ecosystems on land and at sea are priorities in Saint Martin. With an eye towards continuing to improve our quality of life, I hope that, among other things, we invest wisely in the fight against climate change, while embracing sustainable development. For example, we need to continue the battle against invasive species, but also reclaim the shores of our salt ponds, with the creation of pedestrian walkways around these wetlands, which are not meant for garbage, but are wonderful natural resources to discover!

I also strongly support the Caribbean Island Biodiversity Institute, which will allow us to reinforce our thought process, our activities, and our strategies, in terms of management, urbanism, and energy use on the island. I hope that this innovative project, with its many advantages for our island and its population, quickly sees the light of day.

Réserve Naturelle de St-Martin

Better Knowledge About Protected Areas And Protected Species

L’équipe prête à poser une balise - The team ready to place a satellite beacon © Agence de l’environnement de Saint-Barth

The goal of Megara is to increase our knowledge about humpback whales, from every angle. The third Megara mission took place this year, on March 13-18, as the Réserve Naturelle de Saint-Marin coordinated Megara with the association, Megaptera, whose president is Michel Vély, along with the Territorial Environmental Agency of Saint Barthélemy, the association “My School, My Whale,” and the support of the government of Anguilla, which helped facilitate the authorization required for exploration within its territorial waters. During the five days of the mission, a team of 15 participants used a catamaran as their base camp in the waters of Saint Martin, Anguilla, and Saint Barth. Results:...+ infos

Herbier - Plant beds © Julien Chalifour

Share common experiences. Learn what is being done elsewhere. Harmonize methods and identify indicators. This was the scientific approach adopted on April 4-10, 2017 in Martinique, during an atelier organized by IFRECOR and the services in charge of the application of the European Parliament Water Directive on the subject of coral reefs and marine plant beds and nurseries. The goal was to better understand these fragile ecosystems in order to better protect them.+ infos

Fanny Kerninon, interlocutrice IFRECOR pour le suivi de l’état de santé des herbiers en outre-mer, débute une thèse dont l’objectif est de produire une boîte à outils “suivi des herbiers”. Elle a réalisé sa première mission dans le cadre de cette thèse à Saint-Martin où, avec le concours des agents de la Réserve, elle a lancé le protocole sur trois stations : le lagon de Tintamare, la baie du Galion à proximité de l’étang aux Poissons et enfin au Rocher Créole, station historique où la Réserve naturelle a m

Fanny Kerninon, interlocutor for IFRECOR for a study on the health of overseas plant beds, has started a thesis whose goal is to create a scientific toolbox to study plant beds. She competed her first mission for this thesis in Saint Martin, where, in concert with agents from the Réserve, she tested her protocol at three stations: the lagoon in Tintamare, Galion Bay close to the Etang aux Poissons, and Rocher Créole, an existing station where the Réserve Naturelle began a scientific study in 2009. Three dives at each station permitted the observation of several parameters in a 50 meter-long corridor: the number of plants and the eventual presence of flowers, algae, or various species of...+ infos

Managing The Impact Of Human Activities In Protected Areas

Opération contre la pollution aux hydrocarbures - A Plan To Fight Hydrocarbon Pollution

What can we do about hydrocarbon pollution? Who is doing something about it and how? Training by experts from France and the Service of Lighthouses and Buoys in Guadeloupe has increased the competence of several people on the local level, who are now capable of intervening and providing the appropriate response should a layer of hydrocarbons threaten the shores of Saint Martin. The entire staff of the Réserve Naturelle participated in this training, along with gendarmes from the nautical brigade, the SNSM, the staff from both marinas in Marigot, and personnel from the Collectivité. The prefecture and the Direction de la Mer coordinated the operation from a crisis center created for the...+ infos

Atelier en Martinique en avril 2017 Workshop in Martinique in April 2017

What happens to data stored in our computers? Where will it be in 20 years? And beyond? A big question to which IFRECOR and the government have found an answer concerning French coral reefs and the plant beds. At the end of the atelier organized in Martinique in April 2017 (see article page 21), a technical solution was provided as a new tool for managers of protected marine zones. This tool, managed by IFREMER, allows secure storage of all data collected individually, but also facilities date exchange and allows for better exploitation and interpretation of information, all on a national level. This method has been tested for a year in La Réunion and has now been launched in the...+ infos

Trois petits poussins repérés sur le radeau aux terres Basses - Three baby birds seen on the raft in the Lowlands © Caroline Fleury

Our readers most likely remember that in October 2016, the Réserve placed a raft on the Grand Etang in the Lowlands, to promote the nesting of small terns, of which there were 75 on this site. In theory, this was a great idea, except there are black-necked stilts that have appropriated the space on the raft. Caroline Fleury, specialist of the land and wetlands milieu, who conceived and designed the raft, spotted three baby birds with her binoculars. The experience has proved that several species can live together on the same raft and the Réserve has not lost hope that the small tern, which is a protected species, will still be seduced by this nursery, where their eggs will be protected...+ infos

Police Activity

La tortue blessée - The wounded turtle

On Sunday, March 12, a local resident informed the Réserve that a loggerhead turtle was in trouble on the beach of Grandes Cayes, having been injured by an arrow from a harpoon gun. The Réserve took the animal to the Hope Estate veterinary clinic, where the arrow was removed from the turtle, and the wound was stitched up.+ infos

Les poissons saisis - The fish seized

Fishing is forbidden in the Réserve, but that did not stop a poacher from French Quarter to regularly put a 100-meter-long fishnet in Galion Bay. Trying to be accommodating, the guards has asked him four different times to stop his illegal actions, but he persisted. On March 3, 2017, after threatening the guards that he would find out who they were and come after them, he was the subject of an official complaint that the Réserve Naturelle transmitted to the nautical police.+ infos

Photo IOTV

In late April 2017, a group of cruise ship passengers who rented quads in Philipsburg didn’t have anything better to do than cross the shallow channel that links the whale observatory site on the Route de Coralita, with the little island about 200 meters away. Immediately informed by eyewitnesses who were shocked by this violation on a protected site, the Réserve questioned the person who had rented them the quads, who had been informed and was aware of the rules and regulations. He admitted that another party had been involved in the rental and had not transmitted the rules that must be respected within the Réserve Naturelle. The Réserve identified the rental company and filed a report...+ infos

Restoration Of Degraded Areas And Populations

À la pêche au poisson-lion - Fishing lionfish

Do lionfish in Saint Martin carry ciguatera or not? On May 23-26, two researchers from the University of Guadeloupe caught these fish in situ, with logistical assistance from the Réserve, and we are awaiting their results. These scientists had hoped to catch 30 of this invasive species at different sites in order to detect the presence of ciguatera in their flesh. They could only capture 16 specimens, as the density of lionfish is much lower in Saint Martin than in Guadeloupe. Why? Perhaps this invasive species has more predators in Saint Martin. The Réserve also gave the researchers another 15 lionfish that had been caught earlier and kept in the freezer. According to Julien Chalifour,...+ infos

Destruction du centre équestre - Demolition of the equestrian

Comme annoncé dans notre précédente édition, le centre équestre du Galion rouvrira, dans le cadre d’un appel d’offres qui sera prochainement lancé au niveau régional et national. En attendant, le Conservatoire du littoral a décidé de raser le site existant et de transférer le centre équestre sur le site tout proche du refuge pour animaux, illégalement installé sur une parcelle classée en réserve naturelle. Le 10 juin, une société locale de travaux publics a démoli les anciens bâtiments et transporté les gravats, le bois et les métaux à l’écosite de Grandes Cayes, où ces matériaux ont été triés dans les règles de l’art.+ infos

Le perforateur sous-marin - The underwater drill

17 Buoys In Tip Top Shape at Tintamare
The 17 mooring buoys placed at Tintamare by the Réserve Naturelle have all been repaired. The guards were waiting for an underwater drill to be available locally to do this work, which was completed in late May 2017.

New Interactive Signage
Summer 2017 is a good time for replacing all informative signage within the Réserve Naturelle. The new signs have a QR code that allows anyone with a smart phone to connect directly to the Réserve Naturelle de Saint Martin’s website+ infos

Better Means For Better Missions

Bye bye Romain!

Romain Renoux, who started at the Réserve Naturelle in 2010, is leaving Saint Martin behind for Monaco, where he will soon be in charge of the funds dedicated to the protected marine areas (AMP) of the Mediterranean, as well as putting into place the mechanism to attribute subventions to these AMP. His experience working with the European BEST project, which has a similar objective, and for which he was responsible for the Caribbean hub, will be very useful. Also the correspondent for the Agoa sanctuary in Saint Martin, he is pleased that the coordinated efforts led by Saint Martin are recognized by all of the partners on the role that the island plays as the regional hub in terms of...+ infos

36ème congrès des réserves de France - 36th conference for French Nature Reserves

300 people participated in the annual conference for French Nature Reserves (RNF) that was held on May 29-June 2 in Schoelcher, Martinique. Nicolas Maslach, director of the Réserve Naturelle de Saint-Martin was present, accompanied by Julien Chalifour, scientific director, and Franck Roncuzzi, head of the Nature Police. This large assembly of nature reserves in France is the time for the annual election of the board and the creation of various commissions. Franck Roncuzzi will participate on the police commission and Julien Chalifour on the scientific commission. Maslach will join them both on the overseas commission, which celebrated its 10th anniversary. The conference also provided...+ infos

Environmental Communication And Education

© Franck Roncuzzi

Thirty high-school students from the Cité Scolaire now know the small island of Pinel like the back of their hands. On Friday, May 19, they spent the afternoon at this idyllic site, both on land and in the water. On dry land, they enjoyed a guided tour with Ashley Daniel and Caroline Fleury, who showed them the local flora, explained how sea turtles lay their eggs on the beach, and told them about the large numbers of an invasive species of iguana on the island: Iguana iguana, which today is outnumbering the native species, Iguana delicatissima. In the water, Amandine Vaslet and Julien Chalifour took over and revealed the ecosystem made up of plant beds, coral reefs, and resident fauna...+ infos

Nageoire caudale d’une baleine à bosse dans la Réserve naturelle de Saint-Martin - Caudal fin of a humpback whale in the Nature reserve of Saint Martin © Michel Vély

In keeping with its management objectives, the Agoa sanctuary has made recommendations and indicated proper behavior for boats during high-caliber nautical events, in order to reduce any potential impact on marine mammals and the risks of collision, disturbance, or harassment. In 2017, five regattas and a great number of boats benefitted from this advice: the Heineken Regatta in March with a fleet of 220 sailboats; The Bucket in Saint Barth, also in March, with 40 super yachts; Les Voiles de Saint-Barth, where 70 sailboats competed in April; the Mini Bucket in April, with 80 participants; and finally the Hippocup in June with 32 boats sailing between Saint Martin, Anguilla, and Saint...+ infos

Reinforcement On A Regional

Vue sur le Marine Park d’Aruba - View of the Aruba Marine Park © Romain Renoux

Enact a protected marine zone. That was the challenge met by the Dutch Island of Aruba with the creation of its new Marine Park. Located on the edge of the most recently protected coastal areas on this highly touristic island, the Aruba Marine Park is a continuation of the Arikok National Park, the Spanish Lagoon —wetlands with RAMSAR classification— and Mangel Halto Beach. The project, led by the Department of Nature and Environment, an official government agency in Aruba, benefits from financing from the European BEST program for Overseas Territories, which provided 300,000 Euros out of a total budget of 350,000 Euros from May 2016 through April 2019. Aruba has also received funding...+ infos

Les participants au Forum - Forum participants

Every year, the European Union invites overseas countries and islands (PTOM) from around the world to a large forum designed to review the support that Europe brings —and could bring— to these territories. The most recent forum was held on February 23-24, 2017 in Aruba and allowed the delegations that came from the Atlantic, the Caribbean, the Pacific, the Indian Ocean, and even the Antarctic, to meet with representatives of the European Commission and four of its member states (Denmark, France, Holland, and the United Kingdon). Romain Renoux, coordinator of the European BEST project for the Caribbean island, was there of course, and was able to highlight concrete examples of...+ infos

Mission de reconnaissance sur le terrain.

Two projects presented by Anguilla were selected by the BEST program and are currently being developed. Romain Renoux visited his island neighbors on April 11-12, 2017, along with Elise Queslin, director of BEST at Car-Spaw, in order to evaluate the progress of these projects.

First project : Protect Anguilla’s Sea Turtles

...+ infos

Les participants à l’atelier - Workshops participants

Nous vous parlions en avril dernier du projet de mise en réseau d’aires marines protégées des pays limitrophes de l’Océan Atlantique, Nord et Sud. Portée par la Commission européenne, l’idée a vu le jour après que Romain Renoux, coordinateur du projet européen BEST pour les îles de la Caraïbe et représentant du sanctuaire Agoa de protection des mammifères marins à Saint-Martin, ait présenté à Bruxelles les actions menées par Agoa et la Réserve naturelle dans le cadre de la mission Megara, sur les corridors de migration des baleines à bosse, qui ne connaissent pas les frontières.+ infos

Best, Voluntury Sceme for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in Territories of European Overseas

The European BEST program has launched its third and final call for projects to improve the biodiversity of the Overseas Territories of the Caribbean, and has pre-selected eight dossiers. As creating such a dossier can be complicated, a workshop was held in Saint Martin on June 15-16 at the Beach Hotel in Marigot to help candidates with the process before submitting their final versions. Anguilla participated, as well as Bonaire, Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, Curacao, Saint Barthélemy, Sint Maarten, and the Turks & Caicos. A committee of experts will evaluate the proposed projects, and the European Commission will select the best.+ infos


Nicolas Maslach

- Nicolas Maslach

Directeur et Conservateur de la RNN et représentant du Conservatoire du littoral

Franck Roncuzzi

- Franck Roncuzzi

Responsable du pôle "Police de la Nature, administration et logistique" :
commissionnements faune / flore, circulation des véhicules terrestres à moteur

Julien Chalifour

- Julien Chalifour

Pôle "Missions et suivis scientifiques"

Romain Renoux

- Romain Renoux

Pôle "Coopération régionale et animation pédagogique"

Christophe Joe

- Christophe Joe

Pôle "Police de la Nature et sensibilisation" :
commissionnement Conservatoire du littoral

Steeve Ruillet

- Steeve Ruillet

Pôle "Police de la Nature et sensibilisation" :
commissionnements réserve naturelle terrestre, réserve naturelle marine, loi sur l’eau et Conservatoire du littoral

Amandine Vaslet

- Amandine Vaslet

Chargée de mission CAR-SPAW/ RNSM "
Projet Européen BEST"


- Caroline

Chargée d’étude pôle « Missions et suivis scientifiques » "
Milieux terrestres et lacustres

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