RiverWise 

Issue 7 ~ October 2018

The monthly newsletter of the Lower Breede River Conservancy Trust.

Boating Etiquette

Be safe … and watch your wake

The Lower Breede River is a conservation area and managed by the Lower Breede River Conservancy Trust (LBRCT). The rules listed below are not comprehensive; it is your responsibility to know and understand the latest laws that are applicable. Please contact the LBRCT for further inquiries.

General:

  • Please consider and respect other river users and property owners.
  • Do not light any fires other than in permitted areas.
  • Do not set off fireworks or flares at any time.
  • Do not make a noise at excessive volume levels, especially after midnight.
  • Ensure you have a license to fish or to collect bait and adhere to the size- and bag limits.
  • Do not fish or use cast/throw nets from sunset to sunrise.

Boats:

  • Any person in control of a vessel above 15hp must be in possession of a SAMSA skipper’s licence.
  • All boats to have a valid LBRC licence, Certificate of Fitness (COF) and Buoyancy certificate.
  • No jet propelled craft or vessels modified for wakeboarding that may result in damage to banks and jetties, are permitted.
  • Ensure your boat is seaworthy and has all the necessary safety equipment.
  • Adhere to your boat’s maximum carrying capacity; usually the length of the boat in meters +1.
  • It is a serious offence to be in control of a boat while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Operate your boat safely and responsibly at all times with due consideration for other users of the river and their property, with special attention to the disturbance and damage that your wake may cause. 

River:

  • Keep right, as close to the centerline of the river as possible.
  • When approaching another boat, keep to, and pass on, the right with caution.
  • Powerboats give way to sailing vessels and boats towing a person. 
  • To avoid a collision a motor boat must give right of way to all other craft.Always turn in an anti-clockwise direction.
  • Do not follow closer than 100 meters in the wake of a skier.
  • Keep at least 30 meters from the river bank and jetties when in motion (other than when idling) in order to prevent damage caused by wakes and for safety reasons.
  • Never travel at speed near the river banks or close to other jetties and moored boats.
  • When leaving from and returning to your jetty do so at idle speed.
  • Be aware of swimmers at all times on the river but especially when approaching jetties.
  • All passengers to be inside the boat- no person is allowed to sit on the side.
  • Every boat towing a person is required to have an observer on board and use a red flag.
  • Do not drive or pull skiers close to the river bank and jetties.
  • Note that the marker buoys in the river are for guidance only and all users must exercise due care when navigating on the river. 

Conservation Tales 

"To those who have thought how they can best help the wider world, wildlife conservation, at its core, is one of the purest form of giving" - Thomas Kaplan

Now you see me… I spy with my little eye, something cute among the rocks.White-fronted Plovers are so common along the shores of Witsand. You might not believe me because they blend in so well with the sand and move at the speed of light if you get too close. Preferring sandy shores and coastal dune systems, this plover can be seen along the sandy coastal shores, estuaries and inland river systems, feeding predominantly on insects, crustaceans and worms. Foraging day and night using the typical technique of plovers, running, stopping then searching for prey to pluck from the ground, then repeating the process for a delicious meal. It also stands while trembling its feet in the substratum, which disturbs invertebrates for it to catch.

The White-fronted Plover is monogamous and will nest in a scrape in the sand on a broad, open shoreline. These birds have been known to lay eggs all year round on the coast. They experience a very low breeding success for someone who lays eggs all year round. They need protection from outside disturbances which may scare the parents off the eggs. It’s because of these disturbances, the chicks stand a greater chance of dying. This trend has caused a noticeable decrease in their numbers. ShareTheShores is currently a project created by Nature’s Valley Trust.The Nature’s Valley Trust (NVT) is a small community driven NPO working at the cutting edge of integrated conservation in South Africa. NVT operates in, namely Conservation, Education, Community and Research. NVT takes a holistic view of people and the environment and uses the four programmes to help shape how people live, how they view the world around them, and how they as individuals can contribute to conserving the natural world.

We got in contact with Nature’s Valley after we realised how

many pairs of White-fronted Plovers occur on our beaches! Mark Brown, who is the Director of NVT, helped guide this project in the right direction by sharing his experiences with what aspects of the project were successful, what aspects weren't, community support, merchandise and training. 

 

With training, Nature’s Valley invited us along to do learn how and where to look for the eggs, how to handle the chicks, how the chicks get ringed and explained a process on how to age the egg once it’s been laid to predict the hatching date. The rings placed on these birds will also help in understanding migratory patterns along our coast for both the Oystercatcher and White-fronted Plover.

 

Thanks to the generosity and support of Nature’s Valley Trust, we are capable of extending the project to Witsand by allocating nesting

sites, by ringing the new born chicks and to make sure the parents don't get as disturbed while nesting.

How to Support  

#SharetheShores 

If you see a White-fronted Plover, please email the date, time, location and activity of the bird to conservation@breede-river.org. If you see a bird surrounded by litter, please practice the Aussie way of 3 for the Sea by picking up any pieces of plastic to help their chicks grow up in a safe and healthy environment. 

All the help is greatly appreciated!

Litter Accumulation 

Lets keep our plastic use reduced! 

 

It is amazing to see how creating awareness and have the public participate in "3 for the sea" how we have reduced the amount of litter found on our beaches. Maybe winter had something to do with it but we want to keep the motion of having our beaches clean no matter the number of people and no matter the weather. The coastal clean-up from Tidal pool to Blokke showed that in the 2,1 km walked, we only collected 22 pieces of litter. Witsand Main Beach had the most litter but this was due to the South Easterly wind that brings all the trash from the sea onto our beaches. We don't mind cleaning that up, its less litter in our oceans. We don't know about you, but keeping the beaches clean would be a great way to start the summer, even when season starts up again. We might not pick up every piece, but every piece we pick up counts.  

Trash Statistics (%)

0

Food and Beverage

0

Fishing Gear 

0

Packaging Materials 

0

Tiny Trash 

Water Quality 

The salinity, turbidity and temperature readings for the Breede Estuary 

Run, Run, Run!

The water quality run shows the freshwater is still in the system. The system has had a way to naturally hit the 'Reset Button'. We did the Water Quality Run on a sunny day with no wind, the joys of summer. Between melting snow and rainy down pours, the estuary is still fresh. The estuary mouth has a salinity or 22 PSU and a temperature of 18 degrees. It was a great day which brought about interesting sites and observations. We were lucky enough to see a Puff adder crossing the water. Summer is here!

Conservation hits Infanta 

Conservation launches their new projects in Infanta

After an Information Presentation at Bent Heads, thanks to a bit of help from Mark, the conservancy announced the expansion of their conservation projects.The year was spent setting up and proposing the correct project ideas and methods to achieve our goal, maintaining the biodiversity of the Breede Estuary. Once all the projects were set in place, the next step was expanding to Infanta. Thanks to our Part-Time employee, Attie Louw, the conservation projects have started off and are still going strong. Attie does Bait Collection as a part of the Invertebrate Monitoring Project, the monitoring of the Oystercatcher and Plover breeding pairs as a part of the SharetheShores and he does beach clean-ups as a part of the Litter Accumulation project. If your beaches are clean, you have him to thank! 

Continue the good work!

Something to keep the kids entertained. 

 

With the state of our planet, the best thing anyone can do to help is to reduce, reuse and recycle. Do your kids enjoy colouring? Well here's and activity that will keep the kids entertained and the pencils organised! 

 

What you need:

  • Empty plastic bottle
  • Thick, Sticky Paint 
  • Paint Brushes 
  • Thick marker pen 
  • Scissors

What to do: 

  • Decide on the animal you would like to create: Whale, Sea Turtle, Seal, Octopus,
  • Draw the face on the one side of the plastic bottle,
  • Cut along the lines of the face of the animal,
  • Paint your animals face and leave to dry.

Thank you for reading

We hope you enjoyed this months' issue. Should you have any feedback, questions, or matters you would like us to cover in a future issue, please do not hesitate to write to us at news@breede-river.org. 

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