Thursday, March 24, 2016

In the Pink of the Carmargue


Salin Aigues-Mortes
This salt marsh in Southern France is as pink as the flamingos that inhabit it

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Photo:Didier Baretschiger  Wikimedia Commons

Pink salt marshes are more common than you would think, but one that actually has pink flamingos stalking its waters is truly something special, and that is exactly what the Salin Aigues-Mortes in France offers.

Salt marshes can be found around the world. They form along coasts where the tides have flooded part of the land, and the ecosystem has evolved to flourish in the saltwater. A very colorful example can be found in the San Francisco Bay. What you may not find in many of these salt marshes are flamingos, which flock to the Aigues-Mortes region.


Photo: Baptist Rossi Wikipedia

The Southern France region has been known for ages for its superior quality salt. Since Roman times, in fact, the region has produced salt that has been shipped around France, and the larger world. The production and collection has several stages, necessitating the many different pools and channels that surround the salt plant at the marsh. But even with all of this thriving infrastructure, the vibrant pink waters have lost little of their splendor.

Today, visitors can tour the facilities, the marsh, and even the nearby fortified village that sprang up to meet the needs of the ever-thriving salt economy.

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