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Gregory Ziebach

Correspondent Pélagis Observatory

« Visiting an island can change your life »

Gregory Ziebacz has always succeeded in achieving a great work / life balance. A long-time swimming instructor, he also has a keen interest in the sea, where he enjoys observing the marine wildlife to be found in the Pertuis d'Antioche strait. He is also a member of the French National Network for Stranded Marine Mammals.

What is your personal attachment to Ile de Ré ?

I spent my holidays here in 1969, staying with my aunt in La Flotte. I had a really great time and look back on that time with very fond memories.

Twelve years later, my occupation brought me back to the island, and I worked here until I retired.

What is your favourite time of the year and what are your favourite activities on Ile de Ré ?

I prefer the low season when there aren't so many tourists. That's when you really get the feeling of being on an island and the nature which is typical of and particular to the island comes to life. You can brush shoulders with the wild birds. They don't mind: we share the island as friends... I became dedicated to protecting our marine environment when I was very young, including the marine mammals which we find stranded on the shoreline every year because of human activity. I also enjoy sharing my experiences and my observations in the Association for Nature and Environment here on Ré.

Is there a magical place on Ré that you won't find anywhere else ?

Goisil, in La Couarde, is an idyllic place, with the lovely woodland around the north beach, the Goisil channel, and the swamps and meadows around the Fosse de Loix which teem with wildlife.

How would you describe Ile de Ré in just a few words ?

Ile de Ré is worth visiting. Visiting an island – and becoming accustomed to the special way of life here which brings everyone together, rain or shine can change your life!