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Ars-en-Ré is a French commune in the Charente-Maritime department in the Poitou-Charentes region of southwestern France.Formerly called just Ars, the commune changed to its current name on 8 March 1962.The inhabitants of the commune are known as Arsais or Arsaises but they are nicknamed the Casserons: the casseron is a baby cuttlefish, a saltwater fish commonly found on the island.GeographyArs-en-Ré is one of 10 communes located on the Île de Ré off the coast of La Rochelle and is in the north-western part of the island some 8 km west of Saint-Martin-de-Ré. Access to the commune is by the D735 road which crosses to the island from the end of National Highway N237 at La Rochelle. The D735 passes along the north coast of the island through Saint-Martin-de-Re and continues north-west to the commune passing through the town and continuing north-west to the Baleines Lighthouse. Apart from the town there is the village of La Grange nearby on the coast and Le Martray to the east along the coast. The town occupies the centre of the commune and there are forests on the western side with the rest of the commune farmland including extensive Salt farms.Its harbour is the largest on the Ile de Ré and is located at the bottom of the Fier d'Ars (a body of water penetrating the land from the north-east and bordered by marshes), which is reached by a channel through the Salt farms. A lock closes the tidal basin which has with 250 berths. A new basin with 130 berths is to be created in future at the channel entrance. There are 150 moorings on buoys in the outer harbuor and the channel has a capacity of 550 berths, mainly dedicated to the pleasure craft. A beach on the south coast of the island, bordered by a dyke to protect the land, extends to the Baleins Lighthouse at the western tip of the island.
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