Accueil Saint Louis MPA
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Saint Louis MPA

General characteristics
Created on 4 November 2004 by decree n°2004-1408, the Marine Protected Area (MPA) of Saint Louis is located in the Department of Saint Louis on the maritime frontage of the Rural Community of Gandon (eastern border of the MPA), in the arrondissement of RAO, on the Langue de Barbarie between the sea mouth of the Senegal River and the fishermen district of Guet Ndar. It stretches over 49,600 ha.

Objectives of the MPA creation
Conserving the structure, functioning, and diversity of the ecosystems; rehabilitating the degraded habitats and improving the fishing yields and its socioeconomic spin-offs for local communities.

Representative habitats and ecosystems
The dominant charactecter of this littoral domain is the wide expanse of mudflats nurturing grass beds dominated by eelgrass (Zostera noltii) and manatee grass, foundations of this ecosystem under a strong estuarine influence and basis of a complex feeding network. The seagrass species noted alongside the West African coasts include the the Zostera noltii, the Cymodocea nodosa and the Halodule wrightii. These species cover wide plains between the estuaries, as well as the areas under the estuaries near the coasts, like the Langue de Barbarie.

The microscopic algae seem to be abundant, notably thanks to the presence of demersal diatoms in the mudflats not covered by grass. The sea grass lands actually play a key role, as they support many epiphytic algae and a much diversified micro fauna of benthic invertebrates.

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