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The right habits in the Calanques

Calanques National park

Last summer, the Calanques National Park has seen a significant increase in visitors by both land and sea. Indeed, it is a must in Marseille, for hiking, swimming, and the exceptional landscape that this unique place offers.  After weeks of lockdown, returning to nature has been longed for but unfortunately, inappropriate and risky behaviour are on the rise. All visitors must be made aware of certain rules and good habits for everyone’s enjoyment.

Published on 31 July 2020

I adopt the right habits

First good habit: what goes in must come out!

Indeed, the National Park does not have any rubbish bins. As a wild site with difficult access, the creeks must remain a natural area without any facilities in the very heart of the massif. The cleanliness of the site depends on everyone’s commitment to take and sort litter brought during the visit.

> Waste damages the landscapes and is a risk for the earth and the sea wildlife.

Second good habit: Hear the songs of the cicadas!

Playing music is forbidden by the park regulations both on land and at sea.  Leave the connected speakers and any equipment playing music at home. Enjoy the calm of nature and the song of cicadas so pleasant on the edge of water…(or bring along your headphones to take a nap !)

> Noise is a major source of disturbance for biodiversity, especially for very sensitive species like the protected birds of the creeks.  Making noise disrespects both the location and fellow visitors.

Third good habit: Smoke break – Have a breath of fresh air!

60% of human-caused fires are unintentional. They are the results of irresponsible behaviour in the forests (barbecues, stoves, cigarettes…). For a day or a few hours, enjoy the magic and beauty of the place and forget about nicotine!

> Due to its location, the high number of visitors, the houses nearby, and fragile biodiversity, this natural environment is at high risk of fire.

Did you know?

The ‘caught red-handed for a good deed’ campaign is back!

Since the end of the 2019 summer season, the « flagrancy of good deed » campaign has been introduced again in the National Park to involve the visitors. Cleaning the beach or picking up litter on the way will be recorded by the Volunteers of the Park on the best visitors list. A 68 €  prize, equivalent to an outing on a heritage sailing boat,  is offered and sponsored by the « Calanques National Park Spirit »

The amount of 68 € is the equivalent of the fine for not removing the litter.

The National Park meets its visitors in the field

Every summer, the National Park provides many staff on-site thanks to its important seasonal organisation. Alongside the wardens, in charge of the National Park territorial missions all year round, 43 seasonal workers are on duty during the high season to welcome, inform and guarantee the safety of all visitors.

Discover the different missions of the staff you will meet on your way!

  • The eco-guards.

Ecogarde Parc National Des Calanques (1)

They wear a dark blue “eco-guards” T-shirt!

Their mission is to educate visitors on the environment and the concerns about the area, guiding and informing visitors of the right habits,  answering questions on the history of the National Park…

Where to find them? They patrol in pairs on the most frequented itineraries and major destinations of the National Park, on land and at sea.

  • The eco-volunteers.

Ecovolontaire Parc National Des Calanques (1)

They wear a dark blue flocked ” eco-volunteers” T-shirt!

Their mission is to welcome visitors and give information about access and the right habits.

Where to find them? At the main entrances of the National Park and in Marseille, Cassis, and La Ciotat Tourist Offices.

  • The regional forest rangers.

Gardes Régionaux Forestiers Parc National Des Calanques (1)

They wear a brown flocked polo shirt decorated with “REGION SUD” insignia! They monitor areas sensitive to fire risk,  provide information on the right actions to take in the forest, and reinforce the National Park patrol system on « red days » (weatherly access system).

Where to find them? Interface zones between town and nature, where the risk of fire is particularly high.

The "Sea without Plastic" operation: protecting the turquoise waters of the Calanques

Last summer, the Calanques and Port Cros National Parks joined forces to limit the use of plastic thus preserving the marine environment! To do so, both parks have developed a plastic-free pack,  being delivered to service providers who belong to the « National Park Spirit » brand.

Several sustainable tools have been thus introduced :

  • Reusable food packaging made of organic and vegan fabric!

As an alternative to aluminum foil and plastic film, this packaging fabric is cheap,  sustainable, and eco-friendly. It is available on the trails at the National Park Spirit guides or in B&Bs.

  • A 100% biodegradable bottle.

The Vegan bottle is a water bottle totally harmless for the health and the environment.

Les Outils Mer Sans Plastique .jpg(1)

Made entirely out of sugar cane and flax, the bottle is oil-free and without endocrine disruptors. It is a 100%  biodegradable and compostable bottle. Resistant, light and easy to carry, it is a perfect alternative to the plastic bottle for hikes and other daily escapades.

The whole team of « Esprit Parc National » has adopted it!

  • Garbage  bags

Locally made in ESAT (Disabled Working Center) from old fishing

Les Outils Mer Sans Plastique .jpg(2)

nets and recovered boat canvas by the Palana en Méditerranée Association. By using them, you can help the Esprit Parc National guides and collect litter in the park during the hike. Nature will be even more beautiful.

With these good words and initiatives, you are WELCOME to the Calanques National Park. It is everyone’s responsibility to look after this beautiful environment together. It is our duty to preserve it, to be able to continuously enjoy it, and to enable future generations to make the most of it!

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