Facing Coastal Erosion: a Dilemma for the Residents

Le Passage de Gois ou Gôa is periodically flooded passage leading to the island of Noirmoutier in France. It is located between Île de Noirmoutier and Beauvoir-sur-Mer, in the department of Vendée. It is flooded twice a day by the high tide.
Photo source: ©© Jean-Louis Gandon


Les grandes marées de ce week-end relancent le débat qui fait rage sur l’île de Noirmoutier depuis que l’Etat a publié son plan de prévention des risques littoraux. Comment se protéger d’un drame comme celui qui a touché La Faute-sur-Mer, il y a cinq ans, sans figer toute nouvelle construction sur l’île ? Les habitants sont partagés. Enquête sur place…

This past week’s exceptionally high tides revived a debate that has been dividing residents of the Atlantic island of Noirmoutier, off Vendée’s coast.

In light of the French Government’s new Plan for the Prevention of Submersion and Management of Coastal Risks, how can residents be efficiently protected against the potential risks of submersion -such as it tragically happened 5 years ago during the devastating Xynthia’s storm at La Faute sur Mer- and yet, not completely hinder a development policy on the island?

Read Full Article, France Info

“A Noirmoutier, la lutte sans fin contre l’océan;” Le Monde, (03-20-2015)

La Faute-sur-Mer and l’Aiguillon-sur-Mer beaches, Vendée, France; By Claire Le Guern
The very last day of February 2010. It is 4:00 am. Howling winds, whipping rains, infuriated seas, and eight meter high (26 feet) crashing waves, are muffling the desperate cries for help…4:00 am… Twenty nine human lives are being swept away, drowned in the frigid and salty ocean waters. They were in their sleep, in their beds, in the comfort of their home. They did not understand, they could not react, most of them too old, too frail, or much too little to run for safety and climb on the rooftops, like most of the survivors did. That very night, hundreds of survivors were trapped for hours, trembling with fear and piercing cold, in agony, and battered by rain and incomprehension. Only lit by the full moon, in the darkest night of their life, all were waiting for the emergency crews and help to arrive…