Tongaat estuary to be revitalised by Cape Town firm

Posted by Storm Simpson on 27 November 2020

The Tongaat estuary on the north coast of South Africa in KwaZulu-Natal has been earmarked as one of the sites where an Estuary Management Plan (EMP) will be implemented.

Estuaries are bodies of water, typically surrounded by wetlands, found where rivers and the sea meet and they are home to unique plant and animal species that have adapted to the brackish mix of fresh and salty water.

Estuaries are commonly found where the sea and rivers meet. Picture: Wikimedia Commons.

South African environmental authorities have noted the deteriorating conditions of many estuaries, along the coast, according to the North Coast Courier.

The Tongaat estuary caught the eye of Cape Town-based company, Anchor Environmental, as it was described as being ‘sensitive to pollution’.

Anchor Environmental is leading the consultation process for the Estuary Management Plan, which is aimed at halting the deterioration of estuaries across the country through better management.

‘The most recent National Biodiversity Assessment (NBA) on the estuarine realm listed the Tongaat estuary as a heavily modified system that is sensitive to pollution,’ said Safiyya Sedick, a marine invertebrate taxonomist from Anchor Environmental.

‘This strongly influences water quality and in turn affects biotic components (such as microalgae, invertebrates, fish, birds) within the system, many of which have been classified as heavily or severely modified.’

According to Sedick, the EMP will be implemented in two phases.

First, an assessment report, which offers a background of the situation and considers relevant legislation and the current state of the estuary, must be produced.

Second, an EMP that lays out exactly what needs to be done to maintain or improve the condition of the estuary must be developed.

The process is expected to take one year to complete.

Interested and affected parties are encouraged to get in touch with Anchor Environmental via telephone at 021 701 3420 or via email at [email protected]

Picture: Wikimedia Commons

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