With an area of 6,864 km�, the d�partement
of Charente-Maritime is located in the r�gion of Poitou-Charentes.
The pr�fecture is La Rochelle
and the sous-pr�fectures are Jonzac, Rochefort, Saintes and Saint-Jean d'Ang�ly.
Neighbouring departments are Charente,
The department is named after the river Charente, which flows into
the Atlantic Ocean.
It was formerly called Charente-Inf�rieure (Lower-Charente) but was
renamed to Charente-Maritime (Coastal-Charente) because Inf�rieure was regarded as
depreciative by the locals.
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