February 23, 2006
Islet to be restored
France’s government has given the green light to a project to restore the unique tidal system around Mont-Saint-Michel, the Gothic abbey perched high on a rock off the Normandy coast.
Work should begin mid-April, the environment minister said as he visited the historic islet, which is surrounded by quicksand at low tide and waves as the sea level rises.
The project plan includes removing a 19th Century causeway that has provoked a build up of silt and salt marsh, as well as constructing a dam and a new bridge from the mainland.
About 25 hectares of marsh are gaining on the Mont annually. Without an overhaul of the tidal system, the abbey will be surrounded by grass in 2042.
The Mont will stay open until work is done in 2009.
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