Réserve Naturelle de Saint-Martin


Journal 44 - 2024

Réserve Naturelle de St-Martin


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Dear members, partners, and friends of the Saint-Martin Nature Reserve,

In this time of reflection and renewed hope, we send you our sincerest wishes for a year filled with peace, health, and environmental progress. May 2024 be the year we move forward together towards a more sustainable future.

The past year has witnessed concerning climate changes and increased pressures on our precious ecosystems. However, it is with a spirit of resilience that we welcome the new year, ready to face these challenges with renewed determination.

In 2024, we will continue to work tirelessly, constantly seeking innovative solutions to protect and restore our environment. Our mission remains clear: to preserve the beauty and diversity of the Saint-Martin Nature Reserve.

We are thankful for the support you have provided and hope that you will continue to walk alongside us on this sometimes arduous path. Together, we can turn small victories into great triumphs for our environment.

With hope and commitment,

The Team at the Association for the Management of the Saint-Martin Nature Reserve

Amandine Bordin, Directrice

Amandine Bordin, a New Era for the Nature Reserve

On December 1, 2023, Amandine Bordin joined the team as the director of the management association of the Saint Martin Nature Reserve, where she also serves as the conservator. With 11 years of experience in French Guiana as the head of the marine sector of GEPOG, an association dedicated to the study and preservation of Guianese biodiversity, she has previously been the conservator of the national nature reserve of Grand Connétable Island, the second-largest overseas reserve, which is accessible after two hours at sea and serves as a sanctuary for more than 40,000 seabirds during the breeding season.

ecosystems management from the University of La Rochelle, she has a rich ecological culture, the result of a curriculum filled with international experiences: a semester at Erasmus at the University of Swansea in Wales, another dedicated to the study of marine mammals in the Gaspé Peninsula, and a six-month immersion in New Caledonia focused on the protection of dugongs, highlighting her interest in large marine fauna. On the cusp of her 39th birthday, she is excited to explore a new horizon, collaborate with a new team, and face unique challenges. She is also eager to tackle issues specific to our island’s ecosystems, such as the preservation of coral reefs and the management of invasive exotic species. With a clear vision of the challenges ahead, she is ready to continue implementing the current management plan while optimizing the reserve’s administrative management by providing new tools. She aims to strengthen trust with technical, institutional, and financial partners, rejuvenate cooperations, promote the reserve’s expertise in environmental expertise, and increase stakeholders’ awareness of ecological issues. Lastly, she places particular importance on establishing a system that fosters the integration of young people, tapping into the human resources of the territory.

Réserve Naturelle de St-Martin

To promote the conservation of the coral reefs and related species

Acropora blanchi fin 2023 | Acropora bleached by the end of 2023

Action CS2 – Monitor and assess the health of reef benthic communities

Action MS 39 – Participate in regional, national, and international symposiums

From September 18 to 22, 2023, the French Initiative for Coral Reefs (IFRECOR) orchestrated a meeting in Saint Barthélemy, supported by the Territorial Environmental Agency (ATE). This assembly mobilized representatives of the French Antilles State services and coral environment specialists, with the aim of examining the state of coral reefs, conservation strategies, and scientific advances. The discussions also focused on emerging challenges, such as coral diseases, climate disturbances, and recent episodes of coral...+ infos

Bateaux au mouillage au rocher Créole | Boats at anchor at Creole Rock

Action CS3 – Develop and test coral reef rehabilitation and associated species (priority 2)

Action IP6 – Contribute to the rehabilitation of coral reefs and seagrasses.

Action PR2 – Develop and enhance scientific collaborations (priority 1)

Following a call for projects initiated and funded by the French Biodiversity Office (OFB) to mitigate the anthropogenic pressures experienced by coral reefs, seagrasses, and mangroves, the ReCorEA Saint Martin project is led by the nature reserve, with Clément Bonnardel at the helm. This ambitious project also relies on financial support from Atout France and the Veolia Foundation. The work is planned in four phases...+ infos

Catamaran Dream Yacht échoué en décembre 2023 à Grandes Cayes

Action IP4: Remove macro-waste

Action IP5: Monitor and respond to anthropogenic discharges

The Christmas celebrations were somewhat disrupted in the Saint Martin nature reserve, with the beaching of a charter catamaran on the reefs of Grandes Cayes around noon on December 24th. The skipper, who was sailing alone, reported a mechanical failure on his 54-foot (16.4 meters) Bali catamaran while en route from Antigua to Anse Marcel marina. The reserve management team observed that the boat had crossed the first coral barrier and was resting on the second row. An initial inspection dive revealed that both propellers had disappeared, as well as both keel fins, and that...+ infos

Réunion du comité de pilotage du Life BIODIV’OM | Steering comittee meeting of the Life BIODIV’OM

Action IP4 : Develop and test coral rehabilitation and associated species

The European project Life BIODIV’OM for Saint Martin is coming to an end. Dedicated to the restoration of the Nassau grouper and the goliath grouper, it has been subject to regular monitoring committees, the last of which was held on December 7th by videoconference. It brought together Amandine Vaslet, PhD in ichthyology; Margot Mesnard, expert in sustainable development; Alexina Paya, expert in marine environment and Hadrien Bidenbach, manager of the One Shark SXM project. The following day, the steering committee of Life BIODIV’OM took place via videoconference, led by Aude Berger, project manager...+ infos

Ces coraux cornes d’élan en pleine santé ne sont plus qu’un souvenir à Petite-Terre | These healthy elk horn corals are now just a memory at Petite-Terre

Action MS1 : Participate in the monitoring of marine biocenoses within the network of reserves

Julien Chalifour has lent his support to the management team of the Petite-Terre national nature reserve in Guadeloupe by participating in the annual monitoring of the health of its reefs and seagrass beds. This year’s mission, part of a long-standing partnership, also benefited from the expertise of Sébastien Gréaux from the Territorial Environmental Agency of Saint Barthélemy. This mission was coordinated and led by specialist engineers from the Créocéan study office. The dives allowed for the assessment of the extent of the recent coral bleaching in Guadeloupe, including the...+ infos

To promote the conservation of seagrass beds and related marine plant species

Aude Berger et Maël Andrieux travaillant sur une Biohut |  Aude Berger and Maël Andrieux working on a Biohut

Action CS3 : Develop and test rehabilitation programs for coral communities and associated species

Action CS7 : Develop and test rehabilitation programs for seagrass beds

Action MS31 : Develop and strengthen partnerships with the Community, state services, the Tourist Office, the Rectorate, and local institutions and associations

Maël Andrieux, a master’s student in Water Sciences and the Dynamics of Aquatic Ecosystems at the University of Pau and the Pays de l’Adour, completed his end-of-study internship at the Saint Martin Nature Reserve Management Association, as a project manager for mitigating the impacts of port developments on the coastal...+ infos

To promote the conservation of the sea turtle population

Trace d’activité de ponte de tortue marine à Tintamarre | Trace of marine turtle nesting activity at Tintamarre

Action CS13 : Monitor sea turtle nesting activity

Action MS22 : Ensure the recruitment, supervision, and training of volunteers, interns, and recruited staff

Action MS37 : Participate in meetings, maintain and strengthen partnerships with regional networks

Action PA7 – Continue and develop a participatory science program

From the end of September to the beginning of December 2023, a series of videoconferences was organized within the framework of the steering committee for the national action plan for the preservation of sea turtles in the Antilles. The Saint Martin Nature Reserve Management Association contributed to the various thematic...+ infos

To maintain or improve local conditions for nesting bird populations

Installation des dispositifs de régulation des espèces exotiques envahissantes | Installation of control devices for invasive exotic species

Action IP5 : Implement management actions on introduced species

As part of the France Relance plan aimed at regulating populations of introduced small mammals, the islet of Tintamarre was subject to a trapping operation between July 2022 and October 2023. In total, 150 automated traps were installed and have accumulated 7,500 activations to cover two-thirds of the islet. The deployment strategy consisted of initially positioning the traps in the first and then in the second third of the islet, before transferring them to the last third in September 2023 for the final phase of the project, scheduled until the end of February 2024. The first indicators of success for this...+ infos

To ensure good conditions for the reintroduction of the Lesser Antilles iguana

Tintamarre, potentiel futur sanctuaire de l’iguane des Petites Antilles à Saint-Martin | Tintamarre, potential future sanctuary for the Lesser Antillean iguana in Saint Martin

Action CS 33 : Favoriser les conditions de réintroduction de l’iguane des Petites Antilles

Action CS 34 : Etudier la faisabilité d’un programme de reproduction ex situ pour l’iguane des Petites Antilles

À la mi-septembre 2023, le gestionnaire de la réserve naturelle a élaboré et présenté un plaidoyer ambitieux pour la restauration de l’îlet Tintamarre. Ce joyau naturel, scindé entre une partie classée en réserve naturelle et une propriété privée, est au coeoeur d’un projet de conservation et de mise en valeur. L’initiative vise une restauration écologique complète : retrait des espèces exotiques envahissantes, réhabilitation des espèces endémiques, tant faune que...+ infos

Keeping an eye on the regulations and the level of human activities compatible with the goals of La Réserve

Saisie d’un engin de pêche illégal : casier non-immatriculé | Seizure of an illegal fishing device: unregistered trap

Action SP2 : Continue and strengthen the environmental policing missions

During the year 2023, the commissioned and sworn agents of the reserve carried out 204 sea patrols, identifying 24 non-compliant controls: undeclared commercial companies, unauthorized nocturnal moorings, fishing activities, drone usages, prohibited in this protected space. 

Note: For pleasure boaters wishing to moor at Tintamarre in the evening, the AGRNSM reminds of the need to submit a request at least three days in advance.

152 terrestrial patrols took place, resulting in 24 non-compliant controls: kite surfing on Galion beach, drone usages, shoreline fishing, areas where regulations aim...+ infos

Ensuring environmental communication, awareness, and education

Classe de CP de l’école Omer Arrondell sur le site de la baie de l’embouchure pour l’observation des crabes dans la mangrove

Action PA5 : Carry out educational interventions in schools

Continuously successful among teachers and students, the educational department will unfortunately have to limit the number of its interventions, suffering from a lack of personnel to support Vincent Oliva in carrying out his mission. Over 7,700 people benefited from the interventions of the nature reserve from January to December 2023. The educational department of the RN conducted 385 interventions in 88 classes – across 19 educational institutions, 1 training center, 2 organizations, and 9 associations – both indoors and on the field: on the Froussards trail, the Embouchure bay, Creole rock, and the beaches of the...+ infos

Action CC2 : Publish and distribute communication materials on the heritage of the RN

Thanks to financial support from the EDF Foundation, a 3D printer received through the TeMeUm program, and a good dose of creativity, the educational department has designed “Discovering the Biodiversity of Saint Martin”, a question and answer game on six different themes, all related to the ecosystems of Saint Martin. Consisting of a game board, a die, 61 cards with 364 questions, and hollow tokens in the shape of a thistle – the logo of the natural reserves of France – which players fill by correctly answering questions, this game is suitable for all ages, starting from 4th grade. By the...+ infos

Action PA6 : Raise public awareness about the objectives of the RNN (Réserve Naturelle Nationale) and natural heritage

Action PA8 : Participate in local events

National Resilience Day was celebrated in Saint Martin on October 7, 2023, along the Marigot waterfront, at an animation village created on the initiative of the prefecture. The concept of resilience, often invoked in the field of psychology, describes the remarkable ability of an individual or a system to rebuild and regain its original balance following upheavals or crises. In nature, resilience characterizes the ability of an ecosystem to absorb disturbances, to regenerate, and to return to normal and...+ infos

Faune Sbsm pour partager et découvrir notre biodiversité © Julien Chalifour

Action PA6 : Raise public awareness about the objectives of the NR and natural heritage

Action PA7 : Continue and develop a participatory science program

On October 3, 2023, the Faune-Antilles.org portal celebrated one year of existence and 20,000 observations on West Indian fauna submitted by nearly 180 observers. This portal, which includes the site faune-sbsm.org (Fauna Saint Barthélemy-Saint Martin) financially supported by the Life BIODIV’OM project and led by the League for the Protection of Birds (LPO), aims to consolidate data on West Indian fauna. The goal is twofold: on one hand, to enrich the base of scientific knowledge related to local species and, on...+ infos

Classe AME de 6éme du collège de la Roche gravée de MOHO sur le site de la route de Spring | 6th grade AME class from the Collège de la Roche engraved with MOHO on the Spring orad site

Action PA5 : Conduct educational interventions in schools

Born in 2012 in the Marquesas archipelago from an idea by elementary school students, the “Educational Marine Area” (AME) initiative has flourished throughout French territory. In Saint Martin, the Nature Reserve embraced this concept in 2018, allowing three classes to take charge of their own marine area. This program, supported by the French Office for Biodiversity (OFB), promotes an ecological approach and encourages students to get involved in the management and preservation of the marine environment. Thus, students take responsibility for a part of their natural heritage by actively engaging in its protection and...+ infos

Optimizing management means

Mission interservices pour Théo Tondu | Cross-service mission for Théo Tondu

Action MS21 : Ensure the recruitment and training of hired agents

Recruited in November 2023, Théo Tondu joined the team of the Saint-Martin natural reserve as a technician, after being selected following a job posting. His connection with the reserve goes back some time: he completed an internship there between February and March 2017 during his studies for a BTS diploma in fishing and management of the marine environment, which he completed successfully. Now 27 years old, Théo actively participates in various activities of the reserve, ranging from environmental education in schools to the monitoring of sea turtle populations, as well as reserve management. He has also...+ infos

Rencontre avec les opérateurs © Chris Joe Meeting with the operators

Action MS4 : Implement new management or conservation measures related to the protection of natural heritage

On November 13, 2023, the management association of the Saint-Martin natural reserve invited about twenty operators from the French side to a meeting in its premises. The entire reserve staff welcomed these commercial players for an open dialogue on the importance of complying with the current regulations, whose sole purpose is environmental protection. This initiative is part of a similar approach conducted on October 26, where commercial companies operating in the Dutch part of the island were invited to a similar exchange. The objective of these meetings is twofold:...+ infos

Formation loi sur l’eau en Guadeloupe © Chris Joe Water law training in Guadeloupe

Action MS1 : Ensure the recruitment and training of hired agents

From November 6 to 10, at the Guadeloupe National Park, guards Christopher Joe and Ashley Daniel participated in a training session on water law and aquatic environments, enhancing their skills in writing official reports when noticing infractions related to the management and protection of aquatic ecosystems.+ infos

Alexina Paya, Aude Berger et une autre participante | Alexina Paya, Aude Berger and another participant

Action MS15 : Provide technical and legal training for the staff of the NR

Aude Berger, Alexina Paya, and Clément Bonnardel have completed an extensive training in professional first aid, level PSE1 (First Aid in Team level 1). This essential training was provided by the French Association of First Aid of Saint Martin, over an intensive period from September 11 to 15, 2023. It now allows all reserve staff to be qualified as first responders.+ infos

Understanding and continual study of the natural heritage

Singe vert | Green monkey

Action IP5 : Management actions for invasive alien species

Action PA6 : Implement management actions on invasive alien species or their impacts

Between January and November 2023, the Sint Maarten Nature Foundation initiated the first actions to control the population of green monkeys in Sint Maarten, a pressing ecological issue. By installing 14 traps, 108 of these primates were captured and, following a strict protocol, euthanized by qualified veterinarians. This operation responds to the observation of the uncontrolled increase in the population of these animals, which disrupts the daily life of the inhabitants, threatens crops, and the endemic biodiversity of the...+ infos

Reinforcing local and regional commitment to the Réserve

ReCorEA St Martin : protéger les écosystèmes côtiers (financement OFB/ Fond. VEOLIA, Atout France)

Action MS36 : Meet and exchange with the managers of the protected natural areas of the Lesser Antilles

On October 6, 2023, the management association of the Saint Martin nature reserve (AGRNSM) received a visit from two eminent representatives of the French Biodiversity Office (OFB): Jean-Michel Zammite, director of overseas territories, and Fabien Barthelat, territorial delegate of the OFB in the Antilles. The two scientists came to promote their funding tools and to discuss their partnership with the manager, particularly through the educational program “Te Me Um” – which includes the acquisition of educational materials and the funding of a 3D printer – as well as the “...+ infos

Stand animé par l’équipe de gestion lors des Assises de la pêche du banc d’Anguille | Booth animated by the management team during the Anguilla Fisheries Conference

Action PA8 : Participate in local events

Action CC9 : Ensure the enhancement and dissemination of scientific and technical studies carried out on the RNN

The AGRNSM participated in the first Anguilla Bank fisheries conference, organized on December 12, 2023, at Anse Marcel under the auspices of the prefecture. This international event brought together fishermen and leaders from Saint Martin, Sint Maarten, Saint Barthélemy, and Anguilla, as well as scientists, managers of natural areas, and representatives from the islands of Saba, Saint Eustatius, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Antigua, Barbuda, and Guadeloupe. The aim was to discuss the necessity of a common and cross-...+ infos

Rencontre technique des gestionnaires SPAW à La Romana en 2023 | Technical meeting of SPAW managers in La Romana in 2023

Action MS39 – Participate in regional, national, and international symposiums

Clément Bonnardel attended the first workshop of the SPAW protected areas network managers in La Romana, Dominican Republic, from October 10 to 12, 2023. Saint Martin, Martinique, Guadeloupe, and French Guiana responded to the invitation, as well as Sint Maarten, Colombia, Cuba, the United States, Belize, Grenada, Sint Eustatius, Trinidad & Tobago, and the Dominican Republic. Bernadette Davis, Vice-President in charge of the environment, represented the Collectivity of Saint Martin, manager of the unclassified lands of the Conservatoire du Littoral, and Sint Maarten was represented by the Nature...+ infos

Julien Chalifour, président du CSTPN | Julien Chalifour, president of the CSTPN

Action MS36 : Meet and exchange with the managers of protected natural areas of the Lesser Antilles

A meeting of the Territorial Scientific Council for Natural Heritage (CSTPN) took place at the prefecture on November 29, 2023, to review its activity over the past year. The meeting particularly focused on the management strategy of the green monkey population and the annual review of opinions rendered by this group of specialists for the granting of derogations for protected species. It was also an opportunity to conduct a vote.

Julien Chalifour President Of CSTPN
An advisory body created in 2019, composed of 19 specialists appointed for their...+ infos

Action MS36 : Meet and exchange with the managers of protected natural areas of the Lesser Antilles

Action MS20 : Seek new funding sources

Réserves Naturelles de France (RNF), the association that animates the network of managers of all French natural reserves, invited all its overseas members to a videoconference round table on October 10, 2023. The goal for all these managers was to share their experience in terms of territorial collaboration, whether with municipalities or other forms of territorial collectivities. Julien Chalifour took this opportunity to present the unique situation of the island of Saint Martin. He highlighted the challenges and opportunities...+ infos

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