Coastal erosion control. The new state system is far from convincing all the coastal municipalities of Charente-Maritime

Erosion, a natural phenomenon increasing with global warming, affects a fifth of the French coastline. A new regulation aimed at protecting these threatened areas has just been issued. The system, which is based on volunteerism, does not appeal to all municipalities.

Along the coast of La Palmyre, The coastline has increased by 80 meters in recent years. Global warming, rising ocean levels, erosion is crumbling.

For Jean-Pierre Caron, the first deputy mayor of Mathes-La Palmyre, the State-provided system of 6 April 2022 on the sustainable development of coastal areas subject to coastal retreat, above all, obtain additional financial means to combat this phenomenon. .

His municipality has therefore chosen to register.List of 126 municipalities “whose actions in terms of urban planning and development policy will have to take into account the risk of coastal erosion.

Municipalities had to volunteer to be a part of it. In Charente-Maritime, 10 of the 19 people designated by the Governor joined this list.

This decree obliges the relevant municipalities to create a map of the 30- and 100-year evolution of the coastline:

– Within 30 years, new construction will be prohibited in open areas, except for eg utilities and new economic activities that require “close proximity” to the sea.

Within 100 years, exposed areas will remain buildable. However, structures will need to be demolished when the threat of erosion increases.

One area in particular in Mathes is threatened with disappearance in 50 years. With this regulation, new structures and extensions must be dismantled after 30 years. The goal is of course to protect the homes, but it could lower real estate prices in the area.

The implemented system will create a grid of real estate value in these areas. Assets that are out of risk will be estimated at the reference level. Municipalities will also use their right of first refusal on destroyed buildings when leaving the building based on this value.

The decree relaxes coastal law to facilitate the relocation of homes in risky areas that cannot currently be built in other sectors of the coast.

Of the 71 municipalities on the Charente coast, only 10 have so far integrated this system.

Many, like Royan, but identified as a priority by the State, consider this too uncertain for the moment.

For Julien Duressay, Royan city councilor in charge of beaches, the request for council membership was rushed: The climate and resilience law was passed in August 2021. Very quickly, the provinces asked them to discuss whether the municipalities identified as priorities would be on the list. It was done a little too hastily on our part, without really knowing why we were on the government-determined list.”

The funding issue is not the least, as the climate and resilience law sets a framework but the entire system will be determined later by regulation, so it was not easy for elected officials to negotiate without knowing the whole issue and especially the question. financing.

According to Julien Duressay, his municipality, like many others, is already involved in the fight against erosion and is working to adapt to the retreat of the coastline. “Agglomeration is already working on this issue, it seemed to us a superposition of actions, we already wanted to make a diagnosis of the strategy of agglomeration of the coastline.

The device and its financing should become clear in the summer.

Municipalities threatened by erosion can participate at any time.