In the town of Portiragnes, between the sea and the Canal du Midi, lies the Grande Maïre site, a complex ecosystem made up of a mosaic of environments: sansouïre, reed bed, near salted. This area, forged by thousands of years of natural and human history, is the reflection of subtle changes in altitude, salinity and the phenomenon of submersion. La Grande Maïre was classified as a Natura 2000 site, under the European “Habitat-Fauna-Flora” directive of 1992. There are 14 habitats of community interest. Limited to the north by the Canal du Midi and to the south by sandy beaches, the Grande Maïre, a wetland largely owned by the Conservatoire du Littoral, extends over more than 400 ha. This site, remarkable for the richness of the fauna and flora that it shelters, is classified as a Natural Area of Faunistic and Floristic Interest, and protected under the habitat directive of the Natura 2000 network.
The objective is not to make this space a sanctuary of nature. On the contrary, hunters, fishermen, farmers and institutions participate in the management and maintenance of these landscapes. Through the site management plan, drawn up by the Hérault-Méditerranée agglomeration community with all the stakeholders concerned, the stated objective is to reconcile the preservation of biodiversity, while maintaining existing traditional activities.