After 1300 years of human and environmental activities that have changed the natural setting of the Mont Saint-Michel, the site now has its original splendor.
2015 will end the largest ecological project of the XXI century and will restore the landscape of Mont Saint-Michel and resurrect access, in the spirit of the time of its pilgrimages.
The “The Maritime Recovery Project of Mont Saint-Michel” is the brainchild of Eric Vannier to place the site in its historical setting, surrounded by the tides and accessible only by foot.
Like all bays in the world, Mont Saint-Michel is the victim of the natural silting of its surroundings. Accelerated by man, this phenomenon leads the site to a tragic environmental demise: its irrevocable and final connection to the mainland.
The maritime character of Mont Saint-Michel, which strongly contributed to its historical position in France, is threatened with extinction. If nothing is done, the site will permanently lose part of its soul.
The “The Maritime Recovery Project of Mont Saint Michel” assures the environmental and the preservation of Mont Saint-Michels cultural heritage. It helps to sustain its beauty and to protect the global ecology of the site, making Mont Saint-Michel the 8th Wonder of the World.
In 1995, Eric Vannier signed with the state, the Lower Normandy region, the Manche department in the town of Mont Saint-Michel the official convention of the “The Maritime Recovery Project of Mont Saint Michel”
That year saw the beginning of several studies to recreate the vicinity of Mont Saint-Michel.
In 2000, a summary report was presented to the Joint Association of the Bay of Mont Saint-Michel in charge of the project.
In 2005, work began with the construction of a dam on the Couesnon.
Thanks to the combined action of the dam, the river, and the tides, the sediments started accumulating over the edge of Mont Saint-Michel. Because of this, In 2009, when the dam was completed, the first results of the dredging were already visible.
A year later, in 2010, the construction of visitor parking lots started, as well as the installation of transportation that would lead near Mont Saint-Michel and the pedestrian bridge that allows them to access the site on foot.
In 2012, the parking and transportation shuttles were turned on.
In 2014, “The Maritime Recovery Project of Mont Saint-Michel” saw one of his finest milestones with the public opening of the pedestrian bridge. 760 meters long and 11 meters wide, this pathway draws an elegant curve and invites visitors to Mont Saint-Michel on a walk in the oak trees.
In 2015, the destruction of the causeway will close the Project, and Mont Saint-Michel will finally regain its original maritime character.
Thanks to the work done by “The Maritime Recovery Project of Mont Saint Michel” Mont Saint-Michel is anchored forever among the world’s top sites. This immense ecological tourism project will provide many good years ahead and has contributed to the economic development of Mont Saint-Michel and its region.
The reopening of the region in spring 2015 by the President of the Republic will be a first step for the promotion of Mont Saint-Michel in France and across the world.
Mont Saint-Michel will become again an island, around which the tides will come and go, offering contemporary visitors a dazzling show that pilgrims could admire in their time.
This is what Eric Vannier had expressed in 1983 then elected mayor of Mont Saint-Michel and also the youngest mayor in France. Alongside François Mitterrand, President of the Republic, whom he met for the first time, he said: “I dream of a great project for Mont Saint-Michel, which does not sacrifice nature to man nor man to nature…Reconcile man with nature and nature with man, that’s a beautiful childhood dream that will finally come true.”