This is a call for projects for projects addressing water pollution from excessive nutrients in France. If you know someone working on this issue, be sure to send them this article! The theme and the place of our calls for projects are determined by our Plan A algorithm. To learn more about the data-drive of Plan A, read our head of data’s expose here.

Marine waters can become polluted by nutrients which provoke the spread of toxic algae. In 2018, the French Exclusive Economic Zone’s (a marine zone over which countries have special rights on marine resources) ‘clean water status’ was only graded 49 points out of 100, leaving it in the 172nd position out of 221 EEZs ranked globally. As a consequence, algae blooms have become a major national problem in France with environmental, economic and health implications. 

Help save the beaches of North and Northwest France

Deadline: 31 December 2019

Nutrients in fertilizers used in heavy agriculture are the biggest drivers of the water pollution issue in France’s EEZ. Excess nutrients infiltrate in water streams, leading to the proliferation of dangerous algae. These toxic organisms asphyxiate the water they grow in, leading to the death of other aquatic species. This process also involves the release of toxins which are harmful to humans and land animals. In 2019 alone, two human deaths were reported to have a connection with poisons from algae. Algae blooms have economic implication for fishery, tourism and agriculture, not to mention the costs incurred by monitoring and managing this problem. In 2017 the estimated annual costs due to loss of tourism revenue and algae management was €126-189 million. 

It has been communicated that we have 9 years to revert the carbon emission curb before it becomes irreversible. As of 2019, humanity uses the equivalent of 1.7 Earths to meet its needs. The number, calculated by the Global Footprint Network can be expressed in a date. On July 29th, Earth Overshoot 2019, humanity has started living on credit from the planet’s natural resources. France, with a score of 64.2/100 for the Sustainable Development Goals 14 (life below water) has work to do to maintain and protect its wonderful ecosystems. We need to act fast! 


49/100: France’s score on Clean waters. This goal from Ocean Health Index measures a country’s performance in maintenance of of marine waters from contamination by chemicals, excessive nutrients (eutrophication), human pathogens and trash.  

9 years: We have got only 9 years in hand to start reducing the amount of CO2 emissions released into the atmosphere if we are to stay below 1.5°C threshold. #ParisAgreement

1.7 Earths: Humanity uses the equivalent of 1.7 Earths, means it now takes the Earth one year and eight months to regenerate the resources (like marine life) we use in a year.

Are you working on a project working on cleaning marine waters in France? Submit your project or get in touch with us!

Credits: Information produced here is extracted from the data and studies developed by SDGI, OHI, OECD, EU Research centre.