A quick overview of what Estuary Care has been up to in 2016…
Fishing & Bait
We are concerned at the usage of spades for digging bait. Estuary Care’s Shaun Gates will contact Mr Andile Maki, Chief Marine Conservation Inspector, Department: Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries whenever this is observed, irrespective of the time of day. Ted Gilfillan, our Chairman, has reinforced our concern in discussion with Mr Maki. We suggest that if any of our members observe illegal taking of bait, illegally selling bait and or fish they contact Mr Maki directly on (cell) 073 387 0451 or (office) 046 624 5496.
Dry Bones Valley Dune Control Project
Chester Wilmot has drawn up a management proposal for a low cost intervention but the Department of Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEDEAT) requires an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). The report from the Consulting Engineers retained by some of the Lands End homeowners largely aligns with the intervention suggested through Estuary Care. However further progress on the Engineering report remains in the hands of the homeowners.
The removal of flood-deposited rubble from the Bushman’s Estuary
The Bushmans Preservation Trust is seeking permission to take out only the heavy fraction from the piles of dredged material to minimize the amount of traffic on the Bushman’s village road network.
Signage on both Estuaries
Bill Northrop continues to manage signage in both Estuaries. New signs will be required if some sunken trees in the Bushman’s Estuary cannot be moved or cut out. A ‘slippery when wet’ sign is being made for the Kariega slipway.
Slipways, towpaths, paths & jetties
• Rehabilitation of the Bushman’s tow path on the west bank above the bridge is under discussion with relevant stakeholders. • A clean-up of the Bushman’s east bank towpath has been done. • We have received a request to make the Kariega towpath on the sea side of the slipway wheel chair friendly. Chester Wilmot has assessed this issue and will action it.
Pollution in the two Estuaries
• Peter Reid has taken water samples from both estuaries which were inconclusive. However he has suggested that we liaise with Mr Willem Nel of Ndlambe Municipality as evidently he has taken samples and would have used more sophisticated testing equipment.
Siltation of the Bushman’s River
A Lands End homeowner is sponsoring a study by an internationally recognized consulting firm PRDW of Cape Town who are now undertaking the building of a computer model of the Bushman’s Estuary. Once this model is complete it will enable the testing of various interventions (dredging, tidal flooding and deflector gates amongst others) to see what the effect would be on lessening the siltation in the estuary. The objective is to come forward with a definite proposal to reverse the positive inflow of sediment into the estuary.
We continue to try and reinstate the selling of boat licences on behalf of Ndlambe Municipality.