View of the Marais de Brouage


Brouage territory

Location, surface

The Brouage marsh is part of the 300,000 ha of Atlantic coastal marshes. It extends over 11,000 ha between Rochefort and Marennes and is crossed by a 1,500 km network of ditches and channels. For several years, it has been the subject of a territorial project led by the communities of agglomeration and communes of Rochefort and Marennes, focusing on the issue of water management, support for livestock and biodiversity protection. A parliament of the marsh brings together 80 actors of the territory who meet annually. Following the storms Martin and Xynthia, a reflection is underway on the evolution of the coastline in the future in relation to climate change.

Types of agricultural production

Livestock farming extends over 8,000 ha of extensively managed natural grasslands, mainly on former salt flats and some salt meadows reclaimed from the sea. A third of the 160 breeders are installed near the marsh, on the highlands, the others are located at a distance of 20 to 60 km, with a rather different investment. The cultivated area was developed in the 1980s and represents 3,000 ha divided into a dozen farms.

Issues and place of the phytos issue

Water quality is a very important issue for oyster farmers downstream of the marsh. The farm does not use pesticides. The IFT in the cultivated area are low, the challenge is then to avoid that they increase, while maintaining the profitability of the farms. This also implies maintaining livestock farming, which also faces profitability problems. The risk of agricultural decline is an important issue in this territory.

Projections in relation to the project

It is about proposing to the holders of the territory project called "great project of the marsh of Brouage" to implement dynamic and adaptive management approaches developed on the question of water quality by adapting them to the problems of water level management and biodiversity, and by aiming at a zero pesticide objective. This last issue is not currently supported by local actors. The example of the INRAE experimental unit in Saint-Laurent-de-la-Prée, which went organic a few years ago on a neighboring marsh, can stimulate reflection. 

Be Creative facilitators:

Raymond Reau (UMR Agronomy), Eric Kernéïs (UE Saint-Laurent-de-la-Prée) and Alexandre Tricheur (Be-creative reshearch fellow on Brouage project for 1 year).

Modification date : 04 July 2023 | Publication date : 14 April 2021 | Redactor : OR