Launch of CoastSnap Nouvelle-Aquitaine on Oleron’s island

A new CoastSnap observation station has just been installed in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region, on Oleron’s island in the city of Saint-Brée-les-Bains.

This is the 5th CoastSnap station in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region, after Lacanau, Capbreton, Saint-Jean-de-Luz and Biscarrosse.

This participatory science initiative is part of the Observatoire de la côte de Nouvelle-Aquitaine and the local management strategy for the coastal strip of the Oleron’s island, with the support of the town of Saint-Brée-les-Bains.

The observation post is located to the south of the Pointe de Prouard, at the top of the breakwater separating the beach from the coastal promenade. It provides an opportunity to observe the evolution of the dune, beach and foreshore as a whole in the face of the onslaught of the sea. This site is regularly replenished with sediment.

How can you become an actor in coastal monitoring and thus participate in a better knowledge of this environment?

Why not combine business with pleasure during your next trip to the coast? By passing near a site equipped with a CoastSnap observation station, citizens are invited to take a photo of the beach and share it via a dedicated form, by email or from an application. This photo will be added to a citizens’ photo library of the coastline. Through its analysis, it will be possible to better understand the evolution of the coastline at different time scales.

What happens to the photo?

Once the photo has been shared, it joins a bank of citizen photos that are compared with each other and then analysed by scientists using different image processing algorithms developed by researchers from the international CoastSnap network and the Observatoire de la côte de Nouvelle-Aquitaine.

Thanks to repeated shots of the beach from the same fixed point, it is possible to follow the evolution over time of the position of the coastline, variations in beach level, vegetation, etc. This information contributes to a better understanding of the evolution of these sites and to the efficient and sustainable management of our beaches.

The local community of Oleron’s island acts to protect its coastline

To deal with the current dynamics of coastal erosion to which it is exposed on its territory, the local community of Oleron’s island adopted a local strategy for the management of the coastal strip in 2021. The aim is to improve our knowledge of how the coastline is changing, but also to anticipate the effects of erosion and flooding by implementing appropriate management methods, of which the Prouard site is a prime example, with the creation of a sand spit to protect the area from the onslaught of the sea. In order to monitor the evolution of this site and the mechanisms at work, the local authority has set up regular monitoring of the coastline, which you will now be able to add to. Your photos will be added to the image bank of beach conditions, enabling us to assess sand levels and anticipate the impact of swells. Thank you for taking an active role in the Oleron coastline!

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