Issue 46

June 2023

Heavy rainfall across the Breede River catchment area in June resulted in flooding of the upper estuary - ©Sijnn Winery

Young Photography Category Prize

The winner of the Young Photography Category will win a Canon PowerShot ZOOM to the value of R3000! The PowerShot ZOOM is a pocket-sized super zoom monocular camera that shoots stills and Full HD video at the touch of a button. The camera is ideal for bird watching, travel, sports or family days out – right in the palm of your hand. Click here to view the full product specifications.

Adult Photography Category Prizes

Turbulent times for sea turtles

Two turtles were found stranded along our Witsand coastline during May. Both the sub-adult green turtle (left), named Nori, and the loggerhead hatchling (right) are being rehabilitated at the Two Ocean's Aquarium in Cape Town. Nori has pooped out a few pieces of plastic and is regaining her balance slowly but surely. We are proud to be a turtle rescue network partner and applaud the dedicated turtle team that works tirelessly to save these beautiful creatures. Despite their efforts, it remains our responsibility to ensure that plastic waste does not enter our natural environment.

All smiles at Slangrivier Primary School

Slangrivier Primary was next on our list of schools to visit. This group of Grade 5 and 6 pupils were exceptionally well behaved when we spoke to them about turtles, terrapins, tortoises and snakes. Videos of some of our turtle rescues and snake removals were also shown. It was great to be able to sponsor educational posters, rugby balls, netballs and coaching whistles so that these children can further develop their skills and talent.

It's time to renew your municipal boat licence!

July marks the start of the new municipal financial year. Recreational boat licences for the Breede River are available from any of the six outlets as well as online (link below). In accordance with the Municipal Financial Year, all annual licences are valid from the 1st of July 2023 until the 30th of June 2024.

Please note: Commercial licences are required for vessels used in commercial operations, such as chartering, rentals and houseboats. Please apply in writing to

Have you done your membership applications or renewal?

Yearly memberships are due for renewal from the 1st of July 2023.

Not yet a member?

If you take an active interest in, or use the Breede River Estuary, we hope that we can encourage you to become a member of the LBRCT and to support our worthwhile endeavours on your behalf by way of contributing to these efforts.

Are you clearing natural vegetation without permission?


*The Conservation of Agricultural Resources Act 43 of 1983 (CARA) and National Environmental Management Act 107 of 1998 (NEMA) requires written authorisation from Environmental Affairs for any land development.

Failing to do so can result in fines of up to R10 million, imprisonment, or both.

Please note: Vegetation on land where the topsoil has not been disturbed over the preceding ten years is considered indigenous.

Why is natural vegetation important?

Natural vegetation is critical for healthy ecosystem functioning as it:

  • Regulates the flow of biochemical nutrient cycling and greatly affects soil characteristics.
  • Serves as a habitat for wildlife that rely on the vegetation as a source of food and shelter.
  • Determines an ecosystem’s resilience to threats, such as climate change.
  • Improves human livelihoods and sense of place.

What are the negative impacts of clearing natural vegetation?

Habitat & Biodiversity Loss

The Breede River has a great diversity of fauna and flora across multiple habitat types. Loss of these habitats result in the breakdown of interactions between biotic and abiotic factors. This leads to biodiversity loss which has a further knock-on effect. In time, local extinction occurs, making habitats more vulnerable and susceptible to alien species.

Soil Erosion

The majority of soil erosion occurs when natural vegetation is converted to agricultural land. Clearing and ploughing of vegetation strips the land of fertile top soil, which is then blown away by wind or washed away by rain. Soil erosion also occurs when reeds and sedges are removed from river banks. The lack of vegetation has a detrimental effect on the environment’s ability to retain and filter excess nutrients, as well as limit run-off.

Read more here.

Whale watching this winter?

Remember to keep your distance - please

Did you know?

St Sebastian Bay and the waters off De Hoop Nature Reserve are known as the whale nursery of southern Africa due to the region's high concentration of Southern Right Whales during their annual winter migration!

According to the Marine Living Resource Act, no person, vessel, aircraft or drone may approach closer than 300 metres from a whale or dolphin. If a whale or dolphin surfaces closer than 300 metres, the boat operator must proceed to such a distance without delay.

Monthly Monitoring

Water Quality and Bird Counts

The LBRCT conducts a monthly bird count and water quality run on the Breede River. Both operations are conducted at spring low tide (full moon or new moon). On the water quality run this accounts for the pushing tide increasing the salinity of the water upriver as we travel and test. The bird count takes place at low tide to observe and record the different species as they forage on the exposed mudflats.

For the latest results please click here.

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