LITTER TRAP INSTALLATION AT HOEDJIESBAAI, SALDANHA

The theme for World Oceans Day 2022 is “Revitalization: Collective Action for the Ocean”

The ocean connects, sustains, and supports us all. Yet its health is at a tipping point and so is the well-being of all that depends on it. As the past years have shown us, we need to work together to create a new balance with the ocean that no longer depletes its bounty but instead restores its vibrancy and brings it new life.

In keeping with the theme and the ethos of Sea Harvest Corporation to continuously commit to finding better solutions and a more sustainable way of doing business and the Saldanha Bay Municipality’s strategic objective to develop socially integrated, safe and healthy communities, we took collective action and endurance for the ocean by re-installing a new and improved litter trap at one of the stormwater outlets at Hoedjiesbaai in Saldanha.

What exactly is a litter trap and what is its purpose?

A litter trap is a structure used as part of a strategy to remove litter from the stormwater system, to prevent it from entering the ocean. Efforts are made to prevent the build-up of litter in catchment areas, but some still land up in the stormwater system.

The design is important because the estimated amount of litter will determine the volume of material the trap can hold and the frequency of cleaning it.

A litter trap is meant to prevent waste from entering the sea. The reason why this is important to achieve is that plastic breaks down into microplastic. Aquatic life and birds mistake microplastic for food, which accumulates in its tissue, ultimately becoming part of the food web, of which human beings are a part. Other water pollutants, such as dyes, heavy metals and other chemicals can easily attach to microplastics and these microplastics then act as a carrier of other pollutants in the body of aquatic animals, which further enter the food chain. Some organisms do not develop further and die when it comes into contact with plastic.

This project has not been without hiccups and will still experience a few more until we are able to achieve what we set out to do. The overall design was improved by enlarging the catchment volume, placing a grid beneath the trap to prevent it from getting waterlogged, Ribs were placed along the sides, to provide structure to the net so that it does not collapse on itself with the inflow of water and debris and a wider opening to accommodate easier cleaning.

Please feel free to contact Nazeema.duarte@sbm.gov.za or 0227017116 if you have suggestions to improve or report vandalism to the litter trap.

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ALL PLANTS ARE NOT EQUAL: Echium plantagineum

Scientific Name: Echium plantagineum L. (= E. lycopsis L.)

Family: Boraginaceae

Common names: Patterson’s curse, salvation Jane, Pers-Echium (Afr), Purple viper’s bugloss, Franklin weed

Bees love it. Horses and cattle get sick if they eat it and may even die. Commonly referred to as Paterson’s or Patterson’s curse (Echium plantagineum), this lilac-flowering invasive weed is flourishing across the Western Cape. Not many people are aware that it is an invasive weed, and because of its beautiful purple flower they think it is harmless.

Patterson’s Curse which was introduced to South Africa as an ornamental species has become a significant threat not only to the natural diversity but also to cultivated crops and pasture species of the area by out-competing them for space, water and sunlight. A dense population of echium can produce a seed bank of up to 30,000 seeds per square meter.

Distribution:

Paterson’s Curse comes from the Mediterranean region of Europe and is a well-publicised agricultural weed in Australia. It is thought to have arrived in Cape Town during a pit-stop of a vessel from the UK destined for Australia during the late 1700s. These vessels often carried livestock and feed which may have been contaminated with Paterson’s curse seeds. It comes to dominate pastures and rangelands, and substantially reduces the production of livestock in these invaded areas

Description:

It is a deep-rooted biennial that can grow up to 1m high. The leaves and stems are covered with coarse, white hairs. The stem leaves are long and small and the basal rosette leaves are broad and large with prominent lateral veins. Blue or purple flowers appear from spring to autumn.

Conservation status:

As a declared weed, Paterson’s Curse is listed as a Category 1b invasive plant on the National List of Invasive Species. This means that property owners and organs of state have a duty of care to control and remove it from their land.

Not all plants are equal: Salsola sp

Salsola sp.

Family: Amaranthaceae

Common names: Russian thistle, rolypoly, saltwort, windwitch, tumbleweed, common saltwort, and prickly glasswort, kakiebos, taaibos, tolbos.

Tumbleweed is an annual weed that begins life as a typical multiple branched bush, which then takes on a spherical form. It depletes soil moisture and interferes with cultivation operations. This species invades roadsides, disturbed sites, riverbanks, riverbeds, in dry or somewhat saline areas.

Description

Leaves are alternate; blades linear, 1-2 mm wide, fleshy, usually not swollen at base, apex acuminate, forming a rather firm spine, 1-1.5(-2.2) mm long. Flowers are Inconspicuous, white, yellowish or greenish, cup shaped, in the leaf axils. The fruit/seeds have small, brownish capsules, usually with five spreading membranous, veined wings. A single plant can produce up to 200,000 seeds.

Ecology

It grows in disturbed soils such as agricultural fields, irrigation canals and roadside shoulders and ditches. Plants thrive in salty and alkaline soils but will generally be outcompeted by natives in undisturbed habitats. Flowering occurs from September-April.

Distribution and habitat

Salsola sp is native to Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia, China and Australia. The peregrinating (highly traveled) plant also grows abundantly in Afghanistan, Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, China, Egypt, Greece, Hawaii, Hungary, Indonesia, Iran, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Poland, South Africa and Turkey.

It’s a highly problematic, tough, unpalatable plant that clogs up storm water channels and competes with native species. It can rapidly colonise new areas, especially overgrazed, bare and eroded soil. The plants are unpalatable leading to selective grazing by domestic stock which exacerbates existing overgrazing and opens the way for further tumbleweed invasion.

As it rolls down the road, tumbleweeds do what they do best, disperse seeds, which typically number 250,000 per plant. Seeds are unusual in that they lack any protective coat or stored food reserves. Instead, each seed is a coiled, embryonic plant wrapped in a thin membrane. To survive winter without a warm coat, the plant does not germinate until warm weather arrives.

Conservation Status

Salsola sp is a category 1b plant in terms of the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act, 10 of 2004. This means that the plant must be controlled and where possible eradicated and removed.

References

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salsola
  2. https://invasives.org.za/fact-sheet/tumbleweed/
  3. https://www.desertusa.com/flowers/tumbleweed.html
  4. https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Kali_tragus

All Plants Are Not Equal: Opuntia ficus-indica (Sweet Prickly Pear)

Scientific Name: Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Mill

Family: Cactaceae

Common names: Turksvye, Sweet prickly pear, Boere-turksvy.

Opuntia ficus-indica was brought into the country for its use as hedging, animal feed and for its delicious, juicy fruit. These plants can be a very aggressive alien species. A serious infestation can render a veld useless. Cattle and wild eat the leaves but avoid the fruit because of the irritating thorns.

Distribution:

This plant is believed to have originated in the Americas, specifically in Mexico. It has naturalised in Australia, southern Europe, Africa, southern Asia, southern USA and some oceanic islands with warm climates.

Description:

Opuntia ficus-indica is a succulent shrub or tree ranging 1.5-3 m but it can grow up to 5 m. It develops a sturdy trunk with age. The branches (cladodes) are flattened, grey to grey-green. The branches are 30-60 cm long and 6-15 cm wide. Its younger branches arch upwards. The leaves are minute and are shed early. The flowers are conspicuous, bright yellow or orange, red in colour. It bears succulent edible berries which are reddish when ripe, about 8 cm long and covered with clusters of minute spines.

Conservation status:

Opuntia ficus-indica is a category 1b plant in terms of the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act, 10 of 2004. This means that the plant must be controlled and where possible eradicated and removed. These plants are deemed to have such a high invasive potential that infestations can qualify to be placed under a government sponsored invasive species management programme. No permits will be issued. No new plants may be planted. Spineless cactus pear cultivars and selections are not listed. The fruit of the sweet prickly pear is not listed if used for human consumption.

Control mechanisms:

Physical removal: This method is quite labour intensive and includes, chopping down, heaping and burning of the plant material.

Chemical removal: With MSMA (Monosodium Methanearsonate) and Glyphosate.

Biological removal: Bilogicial control with cochineal insect (Dactylopius oputiae) and cactus moth (Cactoblastis cactorum).

References:

Bromilow, C.; 1995. Problem Plants and Alien Weeds of Southern Africa.

Henderson, L.; 2001 Alien weeds and Invasive Plants.

https://keys.lucidcentral.org/keys/v3/eafrinet/weeds/key/weeds/Media/Html/Opuntia_ficus-indica_(Sweet_Prickly_Pear).htmhttps://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/bfly/cactus_moth.htm

Phase 2 of the Review of 3rd Generation Western Cape Air Quality Management Plan

Review of 3rd Generation Western Cape Air Quality Management Plan

Section 15 (1) of the National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act (Act 39 of 2004) (NEM: AQA) requires Provinces and Municipalities to develop Air Quality Management Plans (AQMP) to manage air quality in their regions. For it to be effective, the AQMP needs to be reviewed every 5 years to establish whether the identified goals and targets have been effectively implemented.

In accordance with the NEM: AQA requirements, the Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning (DEA&DP) adopted the 1st Generation Western Cape AQMP in 2010. The 2nd Generation Western Cape Air Quality Management Plan was built upon the strengths and successes of the 1st Generation Western Cape AQMP and was informed via formal Public Participation Process workshops during 2015 and Adopted in 2016. The 2nd Generation AQMP mainly focused on strengthening the linkages between Air Quality Management and Climate Change Response, as well as spatial planning for growth and development in the Western Cape Province.

The 2nd Generation AQMP upholds the vision and the mission of the 1st AQMP which are as follows:

Vision

“Clean and healthy air for all in the Western Cape”

Mission

“To ensure the effective and consistent implementation of sustainable air quality management practices, by all spheres of government, relevant stakeholders and civil society to progressively achieve and efficiently maintain clean and healthy air in the Western Cape”

Furthermore, the 2nd Generation AQMP has four goals that support this vision and mission.

The Goals of the 2nd Generation AQMP are:

  • Goal 1: Ensure effective and consistent air quality management, linked to Climate Change Response
  • Goal 2: Continually engage with stakeholders to raise awareness with respect to Air Quality Management and Climate Change Response
  • Goal 3: Ensure effective and consistent compliance monitoring and enforcement
  • Goal 4: Support Air Quality and Climate Change Response programmes, including promoting and facilitating the reduction of Greenhouse gas emissions.

Following 5 years of its implementation, the DEA&DP must embark on a review of the 2016 Western Cape AQMP to, amongst other:

  • assess progress made in air quality management in the Province;
  • establish whether the identified goals and targets have been effectively implemented;
  • establish whether the goals and targets were still valid in terms of new developments and economic growth in the Province; and
  • Identify potential air quality risks and interventions that can be translated into new goals and objectives, where required.

As a result of the COVID 19 travelling restrictions, it was decided to develop online questionnaires that will be sent out to all the Stakeholders to determine to access the AQMP progress and to identify potential air quality risks and interventions that can be translated into new AQMP goals and objectives.

 

Click on the link below to access and complete the questionnaire:

2nd Generation Western Cape Air Quality Management Plan Review

https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=f790rsPPYEeh_gcxr6pVAnIuN7DJtD1MkU-u9V2qj_lUQ1lQWjg4RzZNWDNXWklTSTdINzVaODdLVi4u

If you have any queries and should you wish to engage with the DEA&DP through any other virtual means (e.g. via MS Teams, Skype, Zoom), kindly contact: Sally Benson: Sally.Benson@westerncape.gov.za

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