Loire Estuary

The Loire estuary, about 100 km long, drains the longest river in France (the Loire, 1012 km) covering about one fifth of the French territory with a watershed of 118,000 km2. The Loire estuary is part of ZNIEFF, ZICO and N2000 networks, and hosts many protected areas as ‘Conservatoire du Littoral’ and RAMSAR sites. This site is submitted to several anthropogenic pressures for example, urban areas, power station, refinery, shipyard. Through the 20th century, the shape of the Loire Estuary has been highly modified: dredging of the navigation channel, embankments and poldering, leading to drastic decrease of the mudflat areas.


Habitat Types in Loire Estuary




Seagrass meadows




  • Engage stakeholders to co-design scenario for rewilding/restoration to improve/restore ecological functions, taking into count the societal needs
  • Increase the link between Governmental organizations and local territory
  • Increase knowledge in natural, social sciences and humanities

Main Objectives

  1. 1

    Reconnecting the river with the land

  2. 2

    Reconnecting people with the Estuary

  3. 3

    Restore landscapes, seascapes and ecosystems services

  4. 4
    Promote ecological and economical benefit (i.e. Blue Economy)

Key Opportunities

  • Declassification of old and ineffective dikes, leading municipalities to anticipate, with citizens, their evolution in the context of sea level rise
  • Governmental organizations (French Organism for the Biodiversity - OFB, Littoral Conservatory) highly supporting Nature-based Solution for climate adaptation
  • Numerous organizations (governmental and professional) are highly concerned
  • Non Governmental Organizations engagement for a National Reserve (France Nature Environnement, Bretagne Vivante and Ligue de Protection des Oiseaux)
  • Synergy with other projects: Life-ADAPTO and Life-ARTISAN

Current and future restoration actions

Contact Person

Main contact
Edouard Metzger