BRGM contributes to the dialogue between science and society. To this end, it organises meetings in the regions, to provide opportunities for outreach and discussion. A meeting in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region was held on 27 January 2017 in Pessac. 

As a public institution for research and expert studies, BRGM contributes to the dialogue between science and society in its different fields. 

Establishing a dialogue with civil society representatives in the French regions 

BRGM's regional representatives organise meetings with representatives of civil society groups to discuss regional environmental questions relating to BRGM's areas of expertise and on which papers and articles have been published. 

These meetings provide opportunities for open and constructive discussions. They stimulate exchanges of knowledge - or of knowledge "gaps” - questions from all parties and the expression of their expectations, while observing the ethical principles that guarantee transparency and trust and preserve the independent judgement of all concerned. 

Summary of the meeting held at Pessac on 27 January 2017 

Topic on the agenda 

Coastal risks in the Bay of Arcachon. 

Date and venue 

Friday, 27 January at BRGM's Nouvelle Aquitaine Regional Division in Pessac 


  • Presentation of BRGM's activities on coastal risks in Nouvelle Aquitaine: forecasting the evolution of the Cap-Ferret sand spit (understanding current and future hydro-sedimentary processes and making projections), risk prevention plans, the Aquitaine Coastal Observatory and a particular focus on the Arcachon basin and some emblematic sites such as the Mimbeau, the Canal des Etangs, the salt meadows, the port of Taussat and the Ile aux Oiseaux (hydro-sedimentary aspects). 
  • Round table on participants’ expectations 
  • Discussion on the topic and related challenges for the region 


15 participants, respectively from the following organisations: 

  • Societies for the Study, Protection and Spatial Planning of the Natural Environment in the South-West (SEPANSO); 
  • Bassin d’Arcachon Écologie; 
  • ABA 33 (Amis du Banc d’Argouin); 
  • Vive la Forêt; 
  • PALCF (Protection et Aménagement Lège-Cap-Ferret); 
  • ARC'EAU; 
  • APBA (Association des Plaisanciers du Bassin d'Arcachon) (Bay of Arcachon leisure boating association); 
  • L.A Cote Noirot (protection and spatial planning for Lège-Cap Ferret). 

Specific points, participants' expectations and questions, discussions: 

  • Adverse impacts of collecting beach debris on erosion and biodiversity; 
  • The dredging/beach nourishment operation at Pyla-sur-Mer; 
  • The regional coherence plan (SCOT) for the Bay of Arcachon; 
  • The need for knowledge and dissemination of knowledge on the impacts of soil sealing due to increasing urbanization, the drop in water table levels, the conjunction of flood phenomena: water table rise, coastal flooding and flooding by rainwater; 
  • The margin of sea-level rise to be considered as climate change-related for planning purposes; 
  • Expression of the needs of associations: a list of scientific reference works, facilitating access to data and reference studies on each municipality, possibilities for calling on BRGM for certain issues in order to better understand them before organising public discussions, organisation of thematic days or workshops.