When the sand marches in

Aug 27, 2014

In 1904 the population of South Africa totalled a little over 5 million and nature would have run its course without any intervention. Dry Bones Valley would be carrying out its duty by allowing windblown sand to travel along its route forming sand dunes and coastal beaches between Bushman’s and Kariega rivers.

The South African population has increased at an alarming rate, in 1911 – 6 million, 2011 – 51.7 million, 2013 – 53 million people.
Over the years it is obvious that space had to be made to accommodate a growing population with about 40% moving to coastal areas for their livelihood as in fishing, working at various shipping harbours and all the infrastructure and activities that go with it.
All along the South African coastline towns and cities increased in size and human influence drastically interfered with nature. This is evident at the Kenton side of Bushman’s River Mouth, with vegetation closing off the natural movement of sand within the Headland By-Pass System stretching from the river all the way to middle beach, the area known as Dry Bones Valley. Inadvertently over the years man has interfered with this natural sand movement by placing branches on the beach to first protect a brick yard and then the Municipality of the day protecting a car park which they tragically positioned in the valley mouth and this was further compounded by them building a toilet block within this highly sensitive area.

This vegetation has caused a build-up of sand forming a huge dune field westwards into the estuary as a whole and correspondingly there is a sand deficit on the eastern side of Dry Bone Valley. The dunes between Central and Kariega beaches are severely reduced in size with catastrophic landslides imminent.

The large sand dune on the western entrance of Dry Bones Valley will increase in size and continue its movement eastwards covering houses and vegetation in its way. This will have direct and major affect on some of the Kenton residents but it will affect all of us in Kenton and Bushman’s. Sand is being carried by the tidal movement within the Bushman’s estuary increasing the size of sand banks and restricting the free flow of water in the intertidal zone and could eventually result in Bushman’s River becoming a blind river. If this should happen it will destroy the natural river systems including, fishing, boating and swimming as the water could stagnate.

In addition the beaches between our rivers are being starved of sand and unless this is replenished we might find ourselves with a very rocky coastline (see video #4 of Waenhuiskrans.)

We are investigating ways of assisting nature in carrying out its work in returning Dry Bones Valley to its natural state. If we do nothing, our precious estuaries and beautiful beaches will be irrecoverably compromised which will ultimately affect the entire community.

 

Video 1

Gives a brief overview

Video 2

Covers the factual detail as to the current movement of sand within our area and the probable outcomes if left untended. It also covers a proposed plan of action in restoring the Dry Bone Valley to its natural state

Video 3

Covers the affect this sand build-up will have on the river system.

Video 4

Is a extract from a 50/50 TV presentation aired earlier this year on the affect of closed Headland By-pass Systems at Waenhuiskrans and at Hout Bay in the West Cape. You will see where a precedent has been set to open up the way ahead for us.

These are posted not only for information purposes but to solicit your support (or concerns) in our ongoing interaction with Government. If anyone would like to comment in any way, please contact:

Chester Wilmot (Tel. 046 648 1721 or 084 624 0947, or e-mail: chesterwil@telkomsa.net )

More from our blog:

Plastic pollution

Plastic pollution

The article below which gives background to the ‘Towards Zero Plastics to the Seas of Africa’ conference is informative and thought provoking. Thank you Dr Tony Ribbink of Sustainable Seas Trust.

AGM 2021

AGM 2021

We are privileged to have Dr Angus Paterson speak at our AGM: Date:  Wednesday 23 DecemberTime:  10:00Venue:  Kenton Tennis ClubTopic:  New technology for a new era – Marine science in SA for the next decade Dr Paterson is the Director of the South African...

Benches

Benches

Estuary Care has organised the placement of a few benches recently and two are on order for December. Ted Gilfillan has helped with the application for another one to be placed at the Kariega Car Park. The benches are made from recycled plastic and are provided...

A threat to the ocean

A threat to the ocean

In 2020 alone, 1.6 billion disposable masks entered the ocean. This is equivalent to 7% of the size of the Great Garbage Plastic Patch and may take over 450 years to biodegrade.  At this rate, there risks being more masks than jellyfish in the ocean. COVID-19 has...

Membership subscriptions 2022

Membership subscriptions 2022

The Estuary Care Committee would like to send out a plea to all recipients of the newsletter to pay their annual subscription fees and to also encourage all other people they know who enjoy the Kariega and Boesmans Estuaries to join and pay their annual fee. The...

Update from our Chairman

Update from our Chairman

We begin the June 2021 newsletter with an important update from our Chairman, Stuart Clarkson. Dear Estuary Care Members and Friends In our last newsletter I reported on our ongoing efforts to secure a sustainable and low risk solution to the ongoing accretion of...

Lewis Pugh Foundation

Lewis Pugh Foundation

Our September 2018 Estuary Care Newsletter featured an article on Lewis Pugh. He had completed what he called The Long Swim which was from Land’s End in Cornwall to Dover in Kent to raise awareness about the health of the worlds oceans.  Read it hereA recent...

Channel Markers & Rock Marker

Channel Markers & Rock Marker

Dave Curran (top), with the help of Don Thomson (bottom) repaired and replaced a number of channel markers in the Kariega Estuary earlier this year.They also replaced the rock marker, which Dave had made, in the Kariega Estuary.Dave and his team install rocks...

June 2021 photos

June 2021 photos

Boesmans Estuary Courtesy of Rob BoydGiant Kingfisher photographed at Boesmans Estuary Courtesy Ted MossGiant Kingfisher photographed at Boesmans Estuary Courtesy Ted MossMiddle Beach low tide  Courtesy Colin Milliken Middle Beach low tide Courtesy Colin...

Channel Markers

Channel Markers

In January Dave Curran with the help of Don Thompson and their team set out to replace various channel markers in both estuaries.  Dave also made a replacement rock marker which was installed in the Kariega...

Repair of the Kenton Jetty

Repair of the Kenton Jetty

As was reported in the previous newsletter the Kariega Slipway Jetty broke loose in a storm and was retrieved by an Estuary Care team. After a covid interrupted process Chester Wilmot, Nick Albrightson and Dennis Dallas completed an extensive repair and...

A huge ball of plastic

A huge ball of plastic

A huge ball of plastic was found above the high tide mark between Middle and Main Beaches.  It probably washed ashore but we were determined it would not be washed back into the sea.  Our Chairman Stuart came to the rescue and removed...

Memorial Benches

Memorial Benches

Over the years Estuary Care has assisted members of the public with the purchase and placement of benches in memory of loved people (or pets!) or simply as a replacement for an existing municipal bench which has become worn or broken down. The procedure to be...

Membership subscriptions

Membership subscriptions

The Estuary Care Committee would like to send out a plea to all recipients of the newsletter to pay their annual subscription fees and to also encourage all other people they know who enjoy the Kariega and Boesmans Estuaries to join and pay their annual fee.

Who lives here?

Who lives here?

This very neat hole in the sand was found near the Boesmans slipway.  The surrounding area was covered with small, very neat uniform balls of sand which look like pebbles.

Plastic & Recycling

Plastic & Recycling

The 18 September 2020 was National Recycling Day.   Thank you to Business Day for the two articles which appeared in their 18 September 2020 edition. We believe that every day should be Recycling Day and we invite members of our communities to pick up and dispose...

A message from Ted

A message from Ted

Ted Gilfillan, with his wife Rem by his side, has steered the Boesmans Kariega Estuary Care Management Forum (Estuary Care) for many years. He is stepping down as chairman and we are very pleased that he remains on the Committee as Treasurer. Ted was a dedicated...

Welcome to our new chairman

Welcome to our new chairman

Our new Chairman is Stuart Clarkson. Stuart comes to us from a background in business. He is passionate about the environment and the well-being of our estuaries and strip of coastline. Stuart grew up in Johannesburg and attended King Edward VII School before going...

Plastic pollution

Plastic pollution

The article below which gives background to the ‘Towards Zero Plastics to the Seas of Africa’ conference is informative and thought provoking. Thank you Dr Tony Ribbink of Sustainable Seas Trust.