A woman from the Loire Valley prepares to swim in the Loire River from Orleans to Tours to defend biodiversity

It is better not to be afraid of the cold to face such a challenge. Philomène Le Lay, originally from Gien in Loiret, prepares to swim the road between Orleans and Tours on the Loire. The 35-year-old sets off this Thursday from the recreation base on Charlemagne Island. It is scheduled to arrive on April 21 in Tours. With this challenge, led by the Projet Azur Association, it wants to raise awareness about protecting the biodiversity of France’s largest river.

Loire Inventory

Loiretaine eventually plans to cover the entire river. Departed on March 6 by bike from Mont Gerbier de Jonc at the source from the loire. This is the second leg of his journey, swimming this time, which begins on April 7. Throughout the trip, Philomene will be educating young people (not the very young) about the challenges of protecting the river’s biodiversity. A kind of large wall painting is created for travel. La Giennoise will especially share what she observed during her trip: “The idea is to plunge into the river to show its beauty, its fauna and flora; Collecting information, even what we have in terms of visible and invisible wastePhilomene Le Lay explains.

humiliating biodiversity

To complete his swimming stage, 10 kilometers per day, for two weeks, Philomene will not be alone. She is accompanied in particular by Anil Marut, who follows her in a kayak, both for safety reasons and also to support her work: “Working together, it also gives stronger weight to our message of warning of the deterioration of biodiversity in the Loire (…) Migratory fish, salmon for example, we have more! Because of the dams (…) the natural course of the Loire is disturbed, and this can be seen tangibly. Specifically by swimming, we are closer to the Loire, understand it better, and can trace the path the fish might take.“.

Philomene Lu Lai had to train in the icy water! © Radio France
Manon Klein

To cheer on Philomène Le Lay, who will be splashing in very cold water (3 degrees last week while training in Loiretaine), you can go readI say goodbye to the Pont Royal in Orleans around 2.30pm. You can also meet him on arrival, on April 21, in Tours. Obviously, the exact timeline remains uncertain. You can also follow the project on social networks: Instagram or Facebook.

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