Dune report

Nov 23, 2023

STATEMENT BY ESTUARY CARE
IN ASSOCIATION WITH KOSRA, BRRAG, & KENTON / BOESMANS CHAMBER OF BUSINESS AND TOURISM
– (the Sand Dune Action Group)

DATE ISSUED: 22 November 2023

1. Objective

To inform our community and stakeholders of activities (Phase 1) undertaken by Ndlambe on the Kenton sand dune at the entrance of Dry Bones Valley which have taken place from 17 November 2023 and are expected to continue until 25 November 2023.

2. Executive summary

Ndlambe is performing maintenance work on the sand dune at the entrance of Dry Bones Valley based on an approved Maintenance Management Plan (MMP).

The stated objective is to open the turning circle at the end of Westbourne Road and to provide road access for the adjacent house.

Work performed currently is to move the buildup of windblown sand away from Dry Bones Valley entrance at the end of Westbourne Road towards the estuary.

We support that action is undertaken to protect municipal property and to provide access to private property.

We are, however, not aligned with the method used to execute the (MMP).

Our committee members contracted specialist Marine Environmental Engineers that support a modus operandi that works with nature rather than working against it, as is now happening.

In their opinion, which was provided to Ndlambe, the natural sand bypass through Dry Bones Valley should be restored.

We are in continuous consultation with Ndlambe to express our concern and to offer support in an effort to:

  • Fully understand the current and planned phases of work.
  • Contain the extent of the intervention to ensure that action taken is restricted to the minimum.

We endeavour to find a collaborative, natural, long-term solution based on scientific facts for the challenge at hand in the best interest of nature and our community.

3. Work Performed on the sand dune at entrance to dry bones valley

Ndlambe action is based on an approved Maintenance Management Plan (MMP) to perform work on sand that is adversely affecting municipal property.

The stated objective is to open the turning circle at the end of Westbourne Road and to provide access to the adjacent house at the end of Westbourne Road.

Work performed currently is to move the buildup of windblown sand away from Westbourne Road towards the estuary, (approximately 100m from the estuary) at a slope of 30 degrees.

4. Our Position

We support that action is taken to protect Municipal property and to provide access to private property.

We are not aligned with the method used to execute the Management and Maintenance Plan (MMP).

Some identified problem areas with the current work include:

  • Pushing sand towards the Bushman’s Estuary is ever-more prejudicial to the Estuary than before due to the storm-induced channel change and the current activities need to be curtailed.
  • Sand is being bulldozed against the prevailing predominant Westerly wind direction.
  • The flow of sand from the West and the buildup of sand will not be stopped.
  • Potentially a huge mountain of sand will accumulate in the area since sand will not be removed and will continue to accumulate.
  • The natural sand bypass through Dry Bones Valley is totally ignored.
  • No sustainable method has been approved to remove the sand build-up for the future, which will be of huge cost to Ndlambe and ratepayers.
  • Additional sand may be directed in the direction Westbourne Road by the Easterly wind, which will cause that the extra contained sand in the dune being formed, to be blown back into the estuary.
  • The estuary channel has moved approximately 140 m towards Kenton during 2023. Tidal surges deposited huge quantities of sand into the estuary which may warrant additional research and consideration for the current MMP implementation method.
  • There is no Estuary Management plan to manage the estuary in a holistic manner, and ad hoc action like this may cause irreparable damage to the delicate estuary.
  • Even before the storm and tidal surge relocation of the estuary, Ndlambe had previously been provided with an expert opinion from pre-eminent Estuary Management specialists and correspondence from a highly respected environmental law specialist advising that their maintenance MMP plan relied upon by them is ill conceived, both environmentally and legally.

5. Our proposed action

We contracted specialist Marine Environmental Engineers that support a modus operandi that works with nature rather than working against it.

In their opinion, which was provided to Ndlambe, the natural sand bypass through Dry Bones Valley should be restored.

The document they provided Ndlambe, supports the possibility of opening Dry Bones Valley as a by-pass system that historically and naturally allowed sand to flow out of the estuary.

Scientific studies to this effect by specialist sand engineers were mandated.

We have instructed a dune specialist company to develop a plan, which can be submitted to Ndlambe as an alternative to the current action.

6. Our current action

Members of the associated group have met with Ndlambe to express their concern and to offer their support in an effort to:

  • Fully understand the current and planned phases of work to be performed.
  • Contain the extent of the intervention to ensure that action taken is restricted to the minimum, in an effort to protect municipal property and to provide access to the house at the end of Westbourne Road.
  • Monitor the situation.
  • Identify the additional phases, which are to follow in 2024 as part of the current intervention.

    It was agreed with Ndlambe to contain the work to the current footprint as of 21 November 2023.

    We fully support Ndlambe in their request that our engineers and CES meet to discuss a mutually agreed upon solution. To date, CES has refused to do so.

    We have the expectation that Ndlambe will take heed of the shortcomings of the current activities with a view to closer collaboration in a scientific manner to reach a permanent non-invasive solution for the challenge at hand in the best interest of nature and our community.

    7. Funding

    Project funding is dependent on generous contributions of likeminded members of the community and business.

    You are once more requested for continued financial and moral support to ensure that the best solution is implemented for the benefit of the whole community as well as for nature.

    NOTE: Contributions are tax deductible, and a tax certificate can be issued in terms of Article 18A.

    Banking details:
    Account Name: Estuary Care
    Bank: Standard Bank
    Branch: Grahamstown
    Branch Code: 051001
    Account No: 283961325
    Reference: ESTUARY/Surname

    Signed:
    Chester Wilmot
    Chairman of ESTUARY CARE in association with
    BOESMANSRIVIERMOND RATEPAYERS’ ORGANISATION
    KENTON ON SEA RATEPAYERS’ ASSOCIATION
    KENTON / BOESMANS CHAMBER OF BUSINESS AND TOURISM

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