National Nature Reserve of St. Martin
Established in 1998, St. Martin’s Nature Reserve was created to preserve the island’s five main ecosystems: coral reefs, mangroves, seed plant herbariums, swamps, and dry coastal forests. Located on the east coast of the island, the waterfront marks the western border of a triangular area that starts from Anse Marcel beach in the north, then reaches out to the east of Tintamarre Island, and back down to Oyster Pond Lagoon. This veritable sanctuary of flora and fauna is made up of over 3,000 hectares of marine territory and 150 hectares of land, which includes the east coast islets: Pinel, Petite Clef, Caye Verte, Tintamarre, and the islets of the Baie de l'Embouchure. The famous Creole Rock, facing Grand Case Bay, is also part of the Nature Reserve, as well as the reefs in a 200-meter radius.
An Area Protected by Decree
The land part of the Nature Reserve is made of rocky coastline, cliffs, beaches, and mangroves. The marshlands of Orient Bay’s Fish and Salt Ponds are part of this protected domain. The mangrove creates a true nursery for the majority of marine species here. The marine area consists of aquatic seed plant herbariums, and many coral reef formations. This entire area is protected by a ministerial decree where fishing and hunting are prohibited, and everyone is required to respect nature’s harmony.
Visiting the Nature Reserve
While it may be prohibited to hunt or fish here, you can admire the water’s depths by taking your first dive from Creole Rock, or by meandering about with your snorkel. Paddling and kayaking are also perfect for navigating the Nature Reserve’s waters and appreciating its landscapes. That’s also a great way to enter the mangroves, where you can observe birds and insects going about their daily activities.