Selune River Dam Removal

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Nicolas Hulot, Minister of Ecological and Solidarity Transition, gives his green light to the biodiversity restoration project of the Sélune Valley.

Nicolas Hulot, Minister of Ecological and Solidarity Transition engages with the Local elected officials a project to restore the biodiversity of the valley of Sélune. This project allow the river to recover a good ecological quality and will aim at long term sustainable development in the valley.

"The rehabilitation of the ecological continuity of the watercourse in the valley of the Selune concretises the ministry's commitment to reclaiming biodiversity must now be a priority axis of government action and policies to reduce the consequences of climate change " Nicolas Hulot.

Sélune is a coastal river that flows into the bay of Mont Saint-Michel. Two hydroelectric dams of 35 and 15 meters were built in the first half of the 20th century: the Vezins dam and the La Roche-Qui-Boit, deeply altering the stream, landscapes, fauna and flora. The discount in the ecological state of the watercourse is the solution that opens the most possibilities for the future of the valley, especially as the works do not present a serious prospect of recovery electricity generation activity under economically profitable conditions.

•  The deconstruction of the Vezins dam will stretch from spring 2018 to autumn 2019. This work will continue with those of the Roche-Qui-Boit dam. EDF continue the management of the works on behalf of the State to ensure the security until the end of operations.

• The Seine Normandy Water Agency will fund the levelling out and renaturation in the framework of its intervention program, in consultation with the Syndicat Mixte du Basin of Sélune. This is an opportunity for local authorities to develop new economic and leisure activities around a valley restored.

• The silting of dams has no effect on the risk of flooding. A careful monitoring will be exercised to ensure safety throughout the entire phase of the works between June 2018 and June 2019. This operation of complete restoration of the coastal river will be expectional and unique in Europe. Thus, 90km of rivers will be fully open to the rehabilitation of biodiversity, particularly through the natural return of iconic aquatic species such as Atlantic salmon and European eel. Scientific monitoring of renaturalisation of ecological effects will be assured.

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