The Biodiversity in Port la Napoule

Clean Harbor

Increased pleasure yachting activity can have a significant impact on the natural environment and coastal-water quality. “Ports Propres” or “Clean Harbor”, is a voluntary certification initiative undertaken by marina managers to ensure the sustainable development of coastal and marine activities. Being certified as a “Clean Harbor” entails taking proactive, environmentally friendly measures, such as selective waste collection, acquisition of pollution-control equipment, improved management of water and energy consumption, and raising user awareness about the environment.

Restoring Ecological Diversity
in Port La Napoule

In parallel with the installation of new amenities at Port La Napoule – including building a platform for large sailing catamarans and improving reception conveniences for passengers visiting the Lérins Islands – some facilities were specifically designed to incorporate an original and innovative venture to restore marine biodiversity.

Special features were installed to foster habitat diversification, including modules on the vertical walls (Protec) and embedded artificial plants (Sargass). These structures are placed in environments where we want to stimulate the return of biodiversity: They provide protection for juvenile creatures, shelter for other species, generate food sources, and serve as supports for egg-laying.


“Sargass” : Cord strands that imitate plants, attached to a float anchored to the seafloor. The living organisms that develop on and among them through epibiosis then serve as attachment surfaces for shellfish and newly laid fish eggs.


“Protec” structures are designed to create bumps and rough patches on vertical walls that do not naturally provide such relief. This forms shelters for fauna, generating increased numbers of species around port amenities and a safe haven for Juveniles.

The Mediterranean :
The Sea Enclosed by Land

The Mediterranean owes its name to being literally a “sea in the middle of the land.” The name’s original meaning, however, may have been “the sea in the middle of the earth,” for this nearly fully enclosed sea is the origin of phenomenally diverse coastal and aquatic ecosystems of great ecological interest. Fifteen percent of the species are endemic and found nowhere else on the planet !

Emblematic Species

Sandy seafloors are generally considered very poor sources of sustenance for marine flora and fauna. Yet this desert-like environment is refuge to a multitude of species, many protected with the help of their own unique techniques of mimicry and camouflage. As the sea bottom harbors a wealth of decaying organic matter (plant and animal remains), it draws many detritivorous organisms that specialize in cleaning seafloors.



Rocky seafloors are exceptional environments, riddled with cavities and recesses in which many creatures find refuge or come to feed. Seaweed, or marine alga, grows in areas receiving natural light and sessile animals – those that attach themselves to fixed objects – occupy the shaded recesses. Rocky areas are also habitats and refuges for many free-moving creatures.

Understanding Neptune Grass
Posidonia oceanica, commonly known as Neptune grass or Mediterranean tapeweed, is an endemic flowering plant (spermatophyte). Its leaves are clustered in tufts that sometimes reach a meter in length and are attached to underground, rhizome-type stems. This plant grows very slowly, only one to 10 centimeters per year. Neptune grass is a superb natural habitat, forming vast seagrass beds, called meadows, that provide shelter, spawning grounds, food, and more for animal life. It is also an extraordinary hub of biodiversity, with seagrass meadows offering a home to a quarter of Mediterranean plant and animal species. It is found only between the sea surface and a depth of 40 meters and reproduces by producing flowers and fruits. This outstanding ecosystem produces twice the oxygen per square meter as a forest !

The Port: Brimming with Life




The port ecosystem is similar to a rocky environment, with rip-raps forming seawalls surrounding a sandy milieu. Sometimes the Neptune grass meadow is only a few meters away from the port’s structures.





Pinna nobilis, commonly called the noble pen shell or fan mussel, is the largest bivalve mollusk in the Mediterranean and a protected species that lives in seagrass meadows.