Marais de Sacy Association FR
The Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, called the Ramsar Convention, is the intergovernmental treaty that provides the framework for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources.
The Convention’s mission is “the conservation and wise use of all wetlands through local and national actions and international cooperation, as a contribution towards achieving sustainable development throughout the world”.
Parties can designate wetlands of international importance. Sacy marsh association is now leading a project to designate Sacy Marsh as one of the French wetland under Ramsar Convention. Following consultation process, documents will be submitted to the french government in October.
Learn more about Ramsar Convention here.
Water is the key element of the Sacy Marsh. Lots of canals, dug at different periods, are running through the Sacy marsh. Canal's water comes from rain but also from aquifer such as Chalk aquifer (one of the biggest European aquifer). The Sacy marsh like all the wetland plays a major role in water management (water quality improvement, minimum flow maintenance and biodiversity...). However, those functions are mostly threatened by water withdrawals and drainage. The latter factor increases the Marsh drying up by speeding up the water velocity from the Marsh to the main river: Frette. Water level difference between wet and dry conditions is extremely high. Furthermore, water withdrawals are lowering incomes from the springs. Another problem was raised by the Marais de Sacy Association, about 100 artesian wells are working and most of them are connected to canals. Therefore, ground water can easily flow to the Frette River and go out of the marsh. This fact contributes to the general aquifer lowering.
Indeed, the Sacy Marsh wetland functions are not completely ensured. This area risks loosing even its peaty character, in fact a strong drainage can lead to peat mineralization, making the area loosing its soil character and the associated fauna and flora.
The Marais de Sacy Association aim to establish a water management plan considering those issues and the current activities. Different actions linked with that are done: Staff gauge, Piezometer installation and monitoring, Flow measurements, aquifer studies, artesian wells management. The water management plan will include the construction of dams, owners technical support, monitoring and maintenance. The water management plan aim is to maintain the water level as high as the land owners acceptance in order to "rewet" the fen.
Sacy Marsh is a massive peaty wetland with important ecological and patrimonial issues because of the faunistic and floristic diversity, but also hunting and farming activities.
The remarkable natural habitats are ponds, moor grass wet meadows, pioneer peaty habitat, formation of Cladium mariscus, heats...
Among the significant plants, Marsh Gentian (Gentiana pneumonanthe), Saw-Sedge (Cladium mariscus), Characeae, Potamogeton coloratus, or bladderworts can be named. A rich fauna can also be found such as: Great crested newt (Triturus cristatus), Great Bittern (Botaurus stellaris), the Little Bittern (Ixobrychus minutus), Large White-faced Darter (Leucorrhinia pectoralis) etc
This biodiversity is threatened by important environmental changes (drainage, natural afforestation, abandon or change of maintenance...).
To fight against those threats, Marais de Sacy Association intends to support land owner's management. It includes management conditions advices (period, technics etc.), administrative advices (regulations on wetland and Natura 2000...), invasive species management but also actual Work.
Therefore, Marais de Sacy Association is the Natura 2000 coordinator, in this role it ensures the administrative and the technical part, but also the monitoring of Natura 2000 contracts. The main types of works are: deforesting, mowing, uprooting invasive species, ponds restoration, fencing installation and grazing. See more under Natura 2000 page.
Some works are done apart from Natura 2000 program, it consisted mostly on mowing 9,6 hectares funded by the Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Conservatoire d'Espaces Naturels de Picardie.
Furthermore, Marais de Sacy Association is carrying out an innovative test about rotational Water Buffalo grazing. The aim is to find maintenance solutions for really wet conditions. Project details can be seen under "Downloads" (Presentation document)
The marsh is also maintained by other animals: Camargue Cattle (Conseil départemental de l’Oise), Highland Cattle (private owners) and Camargue horses (Conseil départemental de l’Oise).
Faunistic and floristic monitoring is purchased to have a better understanding of the ecological system and to evaluate and improve the actions.
Monitoring Studies and Partnerships
Marais de Sacy Association is the key institution of Sacy Marsh. It gathers the components of this site, and ensures the representation in front of technicals and financials partners particularly in program and studies which can influence the environment and the activities. All the studies are carried out by technicals partners, the principles are:
Marais de Sacy Association brings technical support to towns, especially in order to write Marsh lease contracts.
- BBC video .
- Internship document by Justine Lichter " Experiment of artesian wells management";
- Notre pays N°3, 43, 44, 55 available on the website of Communautés de Communes du Pays d'Oise et d'Halatte;
- Towns newspaper articles ( Monceaux Infos N°72 ) ;
- Newspapers Articles about Station ornithologique des Marais de Sacy, invasive species, a formation about invasive species in the hunting association ;
- A Pôle Relais Tourbières article;