Conserving the Audomarois wetlands

Award winner
Challenge: 4th edition of the Action for Water Resources call for projects
Awardee(s): The Caps et Marais d’Opale natural park

The project, located in the Hauts-de-France region in France, aims to adapt a wetland farm to the expected effects of climate change.

An operational and educational project

The Zuidbrouck farm in the Audomarois swamp is located in wetlands characterized by an outstanding richness as far as soil biology is concerned. The project aims to demonstrate in situ that it is possible to create a resilient space and contribute both to the adaptation and the attenuation of the expected effects of climate change through the integrated management of this 112-hectare farm on peaty soil. It also aims to raise the population’s awareness of the local challenges raised by climate change.

The integrated management of Zuidbrouck farm: a sustainable solution to climate-related risks

The Zuidbrouck farm has become a demonstrator of the integrated management of surface water in a sensitive zone. It plays a major role in case of floods by receiving up to 1 million m3 of water. This storage is then gradually released once the flood is over and the general water level returns to its average threshold. Furthermore, during the summer months, it is crucial to maintain a water level that conserves the peat soils and protects agro-pastoral activities and biodiversity. This innovative initiative to maintain pastoral activity by through a close management of water levels received an enthusiastic reception from the members of the jury, in particular thanks to its contribution to the fight against the local effects of climate change.

The prize-winning team

The Caps et Marais d’Opale natural park is home to a broad diversity of landscapes and hosts 80% of the region’s biodiversity. It covers 132,000 hectares and gathers more than 150 towns and 200,000 inhabitants. The Audomarois wetlands are a “Grand Site de France” and a UNESCO Ramsar site and biosphere reserve.

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