Conservatoire du Littoral
Mindful of the ecological, social, economic and cultural significance of its coastline, France has chosen to preserve a significant proportion of natural coastal areas and to make them accessible to all. In 1975, the State decided to set up the Conservatoire du littoral, a public Agency supervised by the Ministry for Ecology, pursuing a land policy aimed at the definitive protection of natural areas and landscapes on maritime and lake shores. The organization can operate in the coastal districts in mainland and overseas France, as well as in the riverside communities of estuaries and deltas and lakes of more than 1,000 hectares. Its objectives: the preservation of natural environments and remarkable and endangered landscapes, public access and reception while respecting the sites in order to raise awareness of environmental conservation, the implementation of sustainable development practices for all activities on the sites (agriculture, heritage management, etc.), or the stability of coastlines and the consideration of climate change through reasoned management with local partners. The Conservatoire owns the sites it acquires and assigns their management to other public or private organisations (regions, departments, local authorities, mixed syndicates, associations, etc.) who employ the rangers responsible for maintaining the sites, developing them and welcoming public.
On 1st January 2022, the Conservatoire is owner of more than 213,000 hectares, divided in 750 sites all along the French coasts, and where nearly 40 millions of visitors each year can benefit from preserved landscape and heritage.
In addition, the Conservatoire du littoral develops cooperation actions on European and international scales, based on the values and principles of management that it promotes and encourages in France, with one vision: “To work together for the development of Integrated Coastal Zone Management policies and to act for more and better managed protected coastal areas”.