BIRDLIFE OVERBERG CONSERVATION REPORT FOR 2019Posted on the 1st January 2020
BIRDLIFE OVERBERG CONSERVATION REPORT 2019
This report reviews progress with the six projects forming part of BirdLife Overberg’s CleanMarine campaign and a few other conservation related issues. The background of the initial CleanMarine campaign description can be viewed at this link:
1. THE PROTECTION OF AFRICAN BLACK OYSTERCATCHER AND WHITE-FRONTED PLOVER NESTS ALONG OUR COASTLINE
# THE IDENTIFICATION OF BREEDING SITES Several members have taken photographs of breeding birds and adults rearing chicks and many volunteers have started reporting breeding attempts over the last two summers. Progress was made with the collation of images to illustrate how the chicks develop until they fledge. Jenny Parson’s images of the breeding pair raising their chicks were well documented and disseminated through talks to bird clubs, the website and social media. The main feature of this was that it illustrated the extended period during which these nesting sites, as well the area where the chicks are reared need to be protected very well. This totals a period in access of 90 days and certainly emphasises the importance of protecting these nests and chick rearing sites. The information received from volunteers now gives us a very good idea of the most important breeding areas along the Overstrand coastline.
|Poster developed by the Nature's Valley Trust illustrating problems being faced by African Black Oystercatchers (and White-fronted Plovers for that matter)|
# NEST WARNING SIGNS The African Black Oystercatcher (Swarttobie) and White-fronted Plover (Vaalstrandkiewiet) are the two beach breeding birds that occur along the Overstrand coastline. The future of both of these species is under threat and they are hugely sought-after in the birding tourism market. These birds are very vulnerable when nesting on the ground because beach visitors and dogs that approach too close can drive them off their nests. The eggs can then overheat in the sun or are in danger of being eaten or destroyed by dogs and other predators. The same applies to chicks once hatched. Illegal vehicles on beaches further disrupt breeding birds and may even drive over nests.
One of the projects of BirdLife Overberg’s CleanMarine campaign is aimed at educating beach goers to stay clear of such nests. This project is done in collaboration with the Nature’s Valley Trust and the Overstrand municipality. Nest warning signs are being set up thirty metres from identified nesting sites to encourage people not to approach any closer. Researchers at the Nature’s Valley Trust have found that the birds will leave their nests when approached within thirty metres.
Please give these birds space while they are trying to breed or raise chicks on our beaches, dunes and shores. If you notice adult birds making a huge noise, they probably have a nest or chicks nearby, so tread very carefully and move away quickly. Please don't remove eggs or chicks even if they seem abandoned, because the parents will certainly be nearby anxiously waiting for you to leave. Your dogs are also a huge threat, so please keep them leached on all beaches. Let’s all do our bit to protect these birds that are very vulnerable during breeding season. Report all breeding attempts and the raising of chicks to Anton Odendal at firstname.lastname@example.org or 082 550 3347. It needs to be emphasised that these efforts will have to be supported with major media campaigns and public meetings.
We would like to express our sincere thanks and appreciation to some of the many volunteers along the Overstrand coastline who have set up these nest warning boards and who are monitoring the progress of the birds: Benjamin, Brenda, Carin, Carl, Colin and Myrna, Elsabé, Helen, Jenny, Judy adn Chris, Krissie, Liezl, Lizanne, Richard, Renee, Tamzyn, Tarron and Timothy. The Nature’s Valley Trust and the Overstrand municipality made the production of the boards and the purchase of other equipment possible through their generous sponsorship.
# THE ZONING OF BEACHES FOR DOGS Consultations were undertaken with representatives of the Environmental Management Services (EMS) of the Overstrand Municipality and it was agreed that a zoning system for dogs on beaches will have to be developed in time. This system has been implemented with great success at various sites along the South African coast such as Sedgefield, Plettenberg Bay and Nature’s Valley. The implementation of this system will however be dependent on the changing of by-laws and this matter is being investigated by the municipality. Dr Mark Brown of the Nature’s Valley Trust has been appointed by the Mayor of the Overstrand municipality to undertake a development process for the establishment of such a zoning system for the Overstrand region and he is being supported by Birdlife Overberg. Initial public meetings were undertaken with municipal and public role-players during November 2019 and similar meetings will be done on a broader scale during January 2020. This project will be rolled out during the first six months of the year and will result in recommendations about the implementation of such a zoning system for the region. The development of posters, educational and information campaigns and the like and the financing thereof will be undertaken once the by-laws have been changed.
|Posters explaining dog zoning on beaches|
# LARGE BEACH BEHAVIOUR POSTERS It was agreed in principle that these posters initially developed by the Nature’s Valley Trust will be adapted and erected at the Kleinbaai harbour, and the beaches at Grotto, Onrus, Hawston, Kleinmond, Betty’s Bay and Pringle Bay. Quotations for the development of these resources have been received and sponsors are being sought. These posters will hopefully be put in place before the summer of 2020/ 2021.
|Example of the large beach behaviour poster developed by the Nature's Valley Trust|
# THE OVERSTRAND ANIMAL AND SEABIRDS STRANDING NETWORK There was great confusion about the correct procedures for reporting injured or moulting seabirds and stranded or even dead animals along the coastline. Discussions with a variety of role-players resulted in a decision about a dedicated number where such animals in distress should be reported: 072 598 7117. Alternatively Theanette Staal, the manager of the African Penguin and Seabirds Sanctuary (APSS) can be contacted at 082 612 2093. These are very handy numbers to save to one’s phone, particularly for those who regularly hike along our coastline. These numbers will be shared regularly in view of getting community members to report such incidents as early as possible. The successful release of rehabilitated African Penguins into the wild on 27 December 2019 serves as an excellent example of what could be done to protect our coastal birds. We thank the staff of APSS and the Dyer Island Conservation Trust for their dedication and sterling rehabilitation work in this regard.
|Rehabilitated African Penguins being released by APSS|
|The African Penguin & Seabirds Sanctuary (APSS)|
2. REPORT ON THE QUARTERLY CO-ORDINATED WATERBIRD COUNTS (CWACs) ALONG THE OVERSTRAND ESTUARIES (2019)
Comprehensive quarterly CWAC counts along the Cape Whale Coast estuaries are now being undertaken. The standard protocols prescribed by the Animal Demography Unit at UCT and BirdLife South Africa are used for these counts. The results are forwarded to Dr Giselle Murison, the Estuaries Manager at BirdLife South Africa and Pierre de Villiers of CapeNature for discussion at the meetings of the various Estuary Management Forums. These counts should enable the Estuary Management Forums to make more meaningful decisions regarding the conservation of birds along these estuaries.
The various estuaries in the Overstrand Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA) being counted are:
• The Palmiet River mouth
• Various sections of the Botrivervlei (Teams of volunteers do counts at the following sites: Botriver bridge to Benguela Cove, Fisherhaven to Benguela Cove, Fisherhaven to Meer-en-See, Arabella Estate to Rooisand, the Rooisand area and the Kleinmond mouth area)
• The Vermont salt pan and the Onrus River estuary
• The Kleinriver estuary (This includes two counts at the area around the mouth and the upper reaches at Stanford) and
• The Uilenkraals Estuary.
Some of the organisations involved in these counts include the Tygerberg, Kleinmond, Hermanus and Stanford Bird Clubs, BirdLife Overberg, CapeNature and the Dyer Island Conservation Trust. We express our sincere appreciation to all the dedicated volunteers from these organizations. As a result of these successful counts officials from CapeNature have now requested BirdLife Overberg to assist with regular CWAC counts at the De Hoop Nature Reserve: “We in the operational side in the new landscape need to ensure that this critical activity continues (at De Hoop). It requires specialised birding skills and expertise hence it was a suggestion that we could partner with Birdlife Overberg to assist us with doing these counts”. This matter is currently being considered and feedback on this will be given as soon as a decision has been taken in the New Year.
It should further be mentioned that various reports and comments on development proposals have been submitted as a result of our involvement along these estuaries. These include comments on the proposed revision of the Protected Areas Management Plan (PAMP) for the Fernkloof Nature Reserve, comments on a bird-watching boating safari application at the Klein River estuary and a memorandum supporting the proposed project on the removal of exotic reeds from the Onrus River estuary. A proposal for the regular testing of the water quality at the Vermont salt pan has also been submitted to the Overstrand Municipality.
It has become evident that more volunteers will be needed in future to ensure the sustainability of this very important project and all conservation-minded birders in the region are requested to contact the organisers. Volunteer your services with Carin at Carin.Malan@fruitways.co.za or 073 172 2660 or Anton at email@example.com or 082 550 3347.
The dates for the quarterly BirdLife Overberg CWAC counts during 2020 are 8 February, 9 May, 4 July and 7 November.
We express our sincere appreciation to Carin Malan for coordinating this major effort.
|Wild horses at Rooisand (Carin Malan)|
|The Vermont salt pan|
3. THE WAR AGAINST PLASTICS AND OTHER LITTER IN OUR OCEANS
# MONTHLY COASTAL CLEAN-UPS BirdLife Overberg’s monthly coastal clean-ups are organised and coordinated by Elaine Odendal and Helé Oosthuizen and remain a project that we are very proud of. We acknowledge the ongoing logistical support given by John Kieser of Plasticsǀ SA by providing plastic bags, re-usable gloves, thongs and water containers. This year further saw the formation of a partnership with the People n Planet campaign of Pick n Pay as they are sponsoring the provision of snacks and refreshments for our volunteers. We express our sincere appreciation to Lumka Poswayo for facilitating the creation of this partnership.
We had scored the contents of the litter collected from the beginning of this project. The statistics of the amounts of litter gathered are in most cases forwarded to the Oceans Conservancy in Washington. Some exciting findings include that there had been a dramatic reduction in the amount of fishing line and related equipment and plastic straws collected at the pilot areas that are cleaned regularly. The litter created by abalone poachers unfortunately remain a huge problem along our coastline. The other constraint is the lack of support for these clean-ups by the majority of club members – we are looking into the possible involvement of youth groups as from January 2020.
The pilot sites will remain the Vermont coastline and the three sections of the Hoek van de Berg Nature Reserve and we thank Michael Raimondo for his support with this. The coastline at Onrus is cleaned regularly by the Onrus Litter Ladies. We would like to encourage people in other area along the Overstrand coastline to consider doing regular coastal clean-ups in those areas.
Elaine and Helé have released the provisional dates for the monthly coastal clean-ups during 2020: 25 January, 29 February, 28 March, 25 April, 23 May, 27 June, 18 July, 22 August, 12 September (ICC), 26 September, 24 October and 21 November. Details of sites to be cleaned and other information are available on the 2020 schedule of events on the BirdLife Overberg website.
|Preparing for a coastal clean-up|
|Portion of litter collected during one clean-up|
# INTERNATIONAL COASTAL CLEAN-UP AND RECYCLE DAY A major effort was coordinated under the banner of the CleanMarine campaign in collaboration with the Environmental Management Services (EMS) of the Overstrand municipality to celebrate this important international event. Marco Cornelius and Steven Njokwana of the EMS managed to get at least 16 organisations involved for the clean-ups between 16 and 21 September. Areas that were cleaned included the Paddavlei wetlands in Hawston, the area around the Klein River estuary mouth at Grotto beach, the area between De Kelders and Sopies Klip, the Hoek van de Berg Nature Reserve, Hangklip in Pringle Bay, Danger Point in Gansbaai, Hermanus New Harbour, the Cliff Path between Grotto beach and Westcliff, Kleinmond, Dawidskraal and the Rooi-Els slip. A minimum of 154 bags of litter were collected during this effort and the event received massive publicity. It is hoped that similar events will be presented in future in view of creating greater awareness of the impact of plastics and other litter on our oceans. John Kieser of Plasticsǀ SA is again thanked for his ongoing logistical support.
|Members of EMS of the Overstrand municipality with volunteers|
|Volunteers from AbaGold, the Onrus Litter Ladies and BLO on ICC day|
# PROGRESS WITH THE PRODUCTION OF ECOBRICKS We are continuing with a sustained campaign to minimise the amount of single use plastics and polystyrene ending up in the waste stream through the production of EcoBricks. These plastics now do not go to landfill sites or pollute the environment and the bottles are being delivered to the People n Planet campaign of Pick n Pay. Pick n Pay has built a kitchen and lounge area for the Khayelitsha youth at the Velokhaya Cycling Academy where 200 children are being fed every day. The EcoBricks are being used to build vegetable rise bed boxes to plant herbs and vegetables to be used in the kitchen. This project obviously serves a very important educational purpose. By the end of 2019 we have reached a total of 300 of these 2 litre EcoBricks – this means that we have taken at least 150kg of plastics out of the waste stream! We will continue with this process and hope to stick to our target of taking 50kg of single use plastics and polystyrene out of the waste stream for each six months period. It is interesting to note that according to GoBric, the international logging system that we participate in, more than 20,000kg of EcoBricks filled with plastics were recorded worldwide during 2019. We encourage members and collaborators to support this campaign even if this is only by collecting such waste in their households and bringing it to us. All details are available from us. This campaign is particularly pertinent given the problems being experienced with recycling in the Overstrand region.
Our appreciation goes to all those BirdLife Overberg members and other collaborators who had built EcoBricks or collected plastics in their households. We would particularly like to thank Marlien, Daphne, Danie and Estie, Susan, Carin and Elaine for their on-going efforts in this regard.
# STORM WATER DRAIN NET PROJECT Members of the Dyer Island Conservation Trust have launched a project to establish a net system over storm water drain outlets in the Gansbaai area. This is being done in collaboration with the Overstrand Municipality and is based on very successful projects elsewhere in the world. The nets collect solid waste, carried by storm water from the local road network and prevent it from landing in the ocean. This project deserves all of our support and the hope is expressed that such a system will be rolled out along the entire Overstrand coastline and further afield. It is recommended that ongoing consultation and negotiations with principle role-players and potential sponsors be undertaken as a matter of urgency.
|Example of storm water drain net - Credit to Hennie Otto of Marine Dynamics (DICT)|
4. FISHING LINE BINS
Marine litter affects a variety of marine animals, notably turtles, coastal birds and whales. Fishing line and other fishery-related products pose a major problem as marine creatures may become entangled in it and this can impede movement thereby causing body parts being lost, drowning or even starvation. Entanglements off South Africa’s coastline have been reported in at least five species of mammals, two turtle species, six fish species and thirteen seabird species. Bird species most affected by entanglement are African Penguins, Cape Gannets, cormorants and gulls.
For these reasons the installation of fishing line bins was identified as one of six projects forming part of the BirdLife Overberg CleanMarine conservation campaign along the Overstrand coastline. These bins have now been put up at various sites along most of the Cape Whale Coast shoreline. The last bins will be set up at sites along the Hermanus cliff path and Sandbaai after the summer holiday period. We were scheduled to set these up before the holiday period, but a spate of vandalism had unfortunately prevented us from doing so. Damaged bins will also be replaced. Thank you to all volunteers who had assisted us with this process and particularly the Dyer Island Conservation Trust (DICT) for initiating this process. We at BirdLife Overberg also extend a big thank you and sincere appreciation to all those organisations who had contributed very generous donations enabling us to roll out these bins. We would specifically like to thank the Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA) division of BirdLife South Africa, MacNeil Plastics for the provision of the raw material and brackets, John Kieser of PLASTICS|SA for facilitating this process and the volunteers at DICT for assembling the bins.
Many examples of the success of these fishing line bins have already been illustrated. Members of the Great Brak River Conservancy have collected 540g of fishing line from such bins – this equals 2,16 km of fishing line!! Volunteers from Marine Dynamics Academy at DICT emptied and fixed the fishing line bins along the beach at Die Plaat and collected 580g of fishing line! The results from BirdLife Overberg’s regular monthly coastal clean-ups further indicate a dramatic reduction in the fishing line being collected at the pilot sites.
We appeal to fishermen and anglers, as well as beach goers, community members and holiday makers to assist with this by depositing fishing line into these bins. Also report spots where significant amounts of fishing line wash up along our shoreline with GPS co-ordinates to firstname.lastname@example.org It has been shown that a difference can be made to address this problem meaningfully – every little bit of fishing line collected contributes to the improvement of our beautiful coastline.
We would like to express our sincere appreciation to Frank Spratt and Tom Casey for their ongoing support by being the “handymen” when these bins are set up.
|Bins ready to be set up|
|Example of the impact of discarded fishing line|
5. REPORT ON ADDRESSING THE LITTERING OF CIGARETTE BUTTS (2019)
This report should be read against the background of the negative impacts that cigarette butt littering has on tourism along our coastline in general and the dangers that is holds for ocean creatures in particular as described previously in initial project reports.
The statistics of the coastal litter being collected during BirdLife Overberg’s regular coastal clean-ups are forwarded to the Ocean Conservancy based in Washington. Their international research indicates that plastic shopping bags, plastic bottles, non-returnable cups and plastic straws are collected most often and are rightly dubbed “the coastal pollution BIG FOUR”. It should however be noted that year after year cigarette butts are the most commonly found form of ocean litter all around the globe. In 2014, ICC volunteers collected some 2 million cigarette butts – a huge amount, but just the tip of the iceberg. It is estimated that approximately 4.5 tonnes of the 6 tonnes cigarettes butts produced annually are littered across the globe. This problem is also well illustrated with results of the BirdLife Overberg monthly coastal clean-up campaigns as similar results are found along our shores.
The extent of the problem becomes obvious when this brief feedback from one of our reports is considered: “Elaine and I enjoyed a glass of wine at the parking area and lookout point at Bitou Street in Vermont last Saturday afternoon and were shocked to see the vast amount of cigarette butts littering the area. We went there before returning home after the coastal cleanup today and shockingly picked up more than 300 cigarette butts in an area that can accommodate a maximum of six vehicles at one time." I returned a month later and collected a further 500+ butts at the same spot. It is significant to note that more butts were collected closer to refuse containers and benches than further away from it. This tendency was confirmed during several other coastal clean-ups at other sites such as the Hermanus cliff path and the Grotto and Onrus beaches.
The initial aim of this project was to set up cigarette butt bins along our coastline and consultations in this regard were previously undertaken with Whale Coast Conservation, the Environmental Management Services of the Overstrand municipality and the Onrus Litter Ladies. Discussions in this regard were also undertaken with Dr Mark Brown of the Nature’s Valley Trust. We have also compared a variety of containers to collect butts. It is unfortunate that it appears as if these containers do not necessarily change littering behaviour in that we found that at public spaces more butts are collected closer to the containers than further away from it. These containers are also vandalised fairly often.
Some encouraging signs have however been seen during our ongoing consultations and research:
# The sterling work by the ONRUS LITTER LADIES shows a significant decline in the number of butts being collected in the areas where they operate. They do regular clean-ups and sometimes only concentrate on cigarette butts. They also set up small bins with catchy notices and increased numbers of butts are being cleaned from these bins. (See the image below). A significant reduction is also found at the parking areas that we regularly clean up along the Onrus and Vermont shorelines.
# We attended a meeting facilitated by Councillor Grant Cohen with representatives of PHILIP MORRIS, a cigarette company with brands such as Marlboro and Chesterfield in their stable. The company has run very successful campaigns in Cape Town to illustrate the extent of cigarette butt littering and the implementation of similar campaigns in the Hermanus area is currently being considered.
# Positive results have been illustrated through BirdLife Overberg’s regular coastal clean-ups. There had been a significant reduction in the amount of plastic straws and pieces of fishing line compared to when we first cleaned one of our target areas in October 2017. These findings are discussed elsewhere. On the basis of this it was decided that an alternative plan to address the problem of cigarette butt pollution will have to be developed. A detailed project proposal for an IN-DEPTH QUALITATIVE STUDY to investigate cigarette butt littering behaviour was developed and is currently being circulated in view of possible funding. We appeal to all role players to assist in this regard.
We will continue with our efforts to search for answers in addressing this global problem in collaboration with individuals and organisations that are also concerned about it.
|Cigarette butt container set up by Onrus Litter Ladies|
6. ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATIONAL PROJECTS
A variety of environmental education campaigns are ongoing.
# BIRD OF THE YEAR RESOURCES The BirdLife South Africa bird of the year posters and educational resources of the last two years (the African Black Oystercatcher and the Secretarybird) have been disseminated to many schools in the region. This project will be ongoing and the Southern Ground Hornbill will be featured as BirdLife South Africa’s bird of the year during 2020.
# BIRD IDENTIFICATION BROCHURES The identification brochure on the common coastal birds of the Western Cape Province was revamped to include text describing our conservation campaigns focusing on the African Black Oystercatcher as bird of the year 2018. The new brochure was developed and printed after we received a grant to do so from the Important Bird and Biodiversity division of BirdLife South Africa. Our appreciation goes to Dale Wright for facilitating this process. The use of these brochures and subsequent reprints will form the cornerstone of several of our future educational efforts in support of the CleanMarine campaign.
# THE ANNUAL NATIONAL MARINE WEEK SCHOOLS COMPETITION We again partnered the Dyer Island Conservation Trust, CapeNature and the Environmental Management Services of the Overstrand municipality in planning and presenting the annual schools competition in support of national marine month during October. Our bird identification brochures formed part of the prizes presented to the winners. We thank Tobie and Runette Louw for representing us during the judging of entries during 2019.
# "VALKOOG" IN LANDBOUWEEKBLAD The regular monthly column is still receiving lots of interest and enquiries. The highlight of the year was the article on the Secretarybird as bird of the year for which Carin Malan's image became the first photograph of a wild bird to appear on the front page of the magazine! Other issues that were addressed during the year included the potential negative impacts that farm fences, cement farm dams and plastics in our oceans could have on our birds, as well as articles on the Bateleur, Blue Swallow and bustards. Negotiations are currently on the way with Struik Nature to publish the first three year's articles in book format. Farmers remain an important target group for bird conservation issues.
# COURSES A review of the CleanMarine campaign has been incorporated into both the Flight for Birders and Flight Higher course and has been presented as part of 14 courses during 2019. These included four courses for CapeNature employees and six Flight for Birders courses and four Flight Higher courses for the general public. Several members have also presented at least 13 talks on related topics to a variety of bird clubs, school groups and other organisations. We would like to express our sincere appreciation to all for their continued support with this important educational work.
COMMENTING ON DEVELOPMENT PROPOSALS AND DRAFT SCOPING REPORTS
A variety of comments, reports and objections were submitted during 2019. Note should be taken of the extensive background research that needs to be undertaken in most cases and we appeal to members to consider assisting with such reports in future. These reports are available from us or have been posted on the club website:
• Ongoing analysis of development proposals at the Vermont Salt Pan. We are currently in the process of applying for sponsorship for the regular testing of the water quality of the salt pan as we are very concerned about changes in the abundance of several bird species identified during regular CWAC counts.
• Ongoing analysis of development proposals at the Rooiels site.
• Comments and objections to the draft scoping report for public comment with regards to mining rights application by Bongani Minerals (Pty) Ltd over portion 1 of the farm Piketberg Rd and portion 21 on the farm Namaquasfontein, Swartland District, Western Cape Province: 25 January 2019.
• Objection to the proposed development of a game farm with tourist facilities and associated infrastructure on the remainder of the farm Lamloch No. 892, Caledon district (Pre-Application DEA&DP Reference: 16/3/3/6/7/1/E2/18/1343/15): 12 April 2019.
• Comments on the draft Fernkloof Nature Reserve Protected Areas Management Plan (PAMP) 2020 – 2024 (Version: Draft1. 2019): 27 June 2019.
• Comments on the draft Western Cape Biodiversity Bill, 2019 in support of Rob Fryer’s comments: 6 August 2019.
• Comments on the proposed removal of alien reeds from the Onrus River estuary: 2 December 2019.
• Memorandum in support of an application by Dr Odette Curtis-Scott of the Overberg Renosterveld Conservation Trust for financial support for projects to National Geographic: 6 December 2019.
• Comments on an application for bird-watching water safaris on the Klein River lagoon, Hermanus: 12 December 2019.
• Development of bird checklists based on pentad statistics and IBA trigger species abundance for Rooiels and Pringle Bay, the Lamloch Swamps, Vermont Salt Pan, the Onrus River Estuary and Riverton Stud, Robertson district.
• BirdLife Overberg reports to the Western Cape Birding Forum meetings during February, June and November 2019.
• Comprehensive update of all destinations of the Cape Whale Coast bird finder web pages: 15 December 2019.
|At the Botrivervlei mouth|
|At the Rooiels site|
Events are published in the “Event Sections” of both the Hermanus Times and The Village News on a continual basis and various media releases, together with photographs or illustrations are forwarded to all the newspapers in the Overstrand region regularly. We have posted 121 items on the BirdLife Overberg website during 2019 and on average 150 visits per day are recorded through this medium. The BirdLife Overberg and CleanMarine@BirdLife Overberg Facebook pages are however very successful in reaching wider audiences. At least 225 postings were made on these two pages over the last year and it is not uncommon to have a single posting reaching 10,000 views within 72 hours. It is interesting to note that conservation-minded people from other areas are now approaching us about the possibility of implementing similar conservation programmes along their coastlines. Involvement in such potential actions will obviously depend on available capacity, resources and time.
We acknowledge the wonderful support received from so many BirdLife Overberg members and other organisations, individuals and volunteers, many having been mentioned in reports above. There are simply too many to mention, but their contributions are appreciated enormously.
Dr Mark Brown of the Nature’s Valley Trust played a pivotal role in the development of most of the concepts and resources used for this project and his groundbreaking research in this regard is acknowledged. We have been very fortunate in receiving a donation from the Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA) division of BirdLife South Africa to serve as seeding funding for this project. Major financial support was also received from the Overstrand Municipality and the People n Planet campaign of Pick n Pay. We thank Dale Wright, Liezl de Villiers and Lumka Poswayo for facilitating these contributions. John Kieser of Plasticsǀ SA has supported our coastal clean-up campaigns for many years and his continued provision of equipment and advice serve as a shining example of what the plastics industry is doing to address the problem of plastics in our oceans. Our partners at the Dyer Island Conservation Trust are inspirational and we acknowledge the massive contributions made by Theanette Staal, Pinkey Ngewu, Brenda du Toit and Wilfred Chivell.
The support received from these organisations and individuals (and others) need to be recognised as the driving force behind the successes already achieved with the CleanMarine campaign. The hope is expressed that these creative partnerships will continue long into the future.
31 December 2019.