Created in December 2015, the Coastal and Nearshore Research Infrastructure (Infrastructure de Recherche LIttorale et CÔtière — IR I-LICO) aims to observe and study coastal and near-shore areas in their entirety.


The nearshore and the coast are areas where continental surfaces meet the open ocean and are thus the sites of transfers and exchanges between different environments. They are also the site of transformations, particularly through mineral-biological interactions, and harbour coastal and nearshore ecosystems. This environment evolves at various spatio-temporal scales. Understanding the associated physical, biogeochemical and sedimentary processes (features, time scales, relationships) is essential. The observation of coastal and nearshore ecosystems is multi-disciplinary in nature, with an ensemble of diverse parameters to measure according to the local geography and at varying frequency.

Missions and operations

The I-LICO infrastructure collects samples and deploys sensors to characterise the changes in coastal and nearshore environments and constitute an extended long-term data series on these environments as a whole. This dataset will favour the anticipation and comprehension of certain processes and quantify the impact of intermittent and/or extreme events.

I-LICO thus aims to

  • oversee the observations in nearshore and coastal environments and ensure that they address societal issues and associated scientific questions,
  • federate and organise its multi-disciplinary network,
  • guarantee interoperability and quality of observations made via different services.

To carry out its missions, I-LICO federates 8 observation services and networks (certified or certification in progress) operated by the CNRS INSU, IFREMER, IRD, SHOM and IGN:

  • MOOSE (Mediterranean Ocean Observing System on Environment),
  • DYNALIT (Dynamique du Littoral), National Observation Service for coastline dynamics
  • SOMLIT (Service d'Observation en Milieu LITtoral) the French Coastal Environment Observatory,
  • REPHY (Réseau d'observation du Phytoplancton), IFREMER’s Phytoplankton Observation Network
  • HOSEA (High-frequency Observation network for the environment in coastal SEAs),
  • CORAIL (Observatoire des récifs coralliens de Polynésie et du Pacifique) Polynesian and Pacific Coral Reef Observatory,
  • Reeftemps (Réseau de capteurs de Température des eaux Côtières dans la région du Pacifique Sud et Sud-Ouest) Network of coastal water temperature sensors the South and South-West Pacific,
  • SONEL (Système d’Observation des variations du Niveau de la mEr à Long terme) French sea level observatory system.

Jerico-Next, harmonising data collection in Europe

The objective of the JERICO-NEXT is to create a network of European infrastructures dedicated to coastal observation. More specifically, the goal is to align the data collection tools and methods and ensure sustainable delivery of robust, harmonised measurements across Europe. This consortium involves 33 partners from 15 countries including European SMEs and aims to enhance the integration of biological data by promoting standard data collection methods.