There are many faces to the bassin de Marennes. The different municipalities comprising this area have very ancient ties – geographical, economic, historical and even political in nature. Saint-Sornin, Le Gua, Nieulle sur Seudre, Saint-Just-Luzac, Marennes-Hiers-Brouage and Bourcefranc-Le Chapus are the six municipalities that make up this area.
Oyster farming and land-based agriculture are the two activities which have really shaped this part of the world. Marshland covers most of the bassin de Marennes, creating a very distinctive landscape where wetland habitats are king. These offer a great home for wildlife, being particularly suitable for birds, especially migrating birds. The herons, egrets and swans that live here are a common sight. In the spring-time, a walk through the marais de Brouage marsh may even be rewarded with a sight of nesting storks.
There is also significant built heritage to be found here, with outstanding sites like the citadel of Brouage boasting distinctive bartizans on its walls, not to mention Fort Louvois, the last fortification built during the reign of Louis XIV. It all goes to make for an impressive ensemble which has helped create a local tourist industry based upon both this built heritage and traditional local arts and crafts.