Friends of Rietvlei
Newsletter September/October 2001
Arbor Week Planting: Take Two
Due to the very late and wet winter experienced this year, we were unable to plant our shrubs bought from Good Hope Nurseries. As we were digging the holes to put our compost in, the ground water came rushing in from the sides and in no time the holes were full of water. We would literally have drowned our plants. A week later we experienced another storm and the water level pushed right up to the fence line on Otto du Plessis Drive. We expect our hardwearing indigenous plants to be able to withstand a flood from time to time, but not straight after planting. Koos Retief, our Conservation Officer will organize better compost to be delivered on site and we will use Port Jackson mulch as covering on the ground to help prevent drying around the plants.
The sun is getting warmer and we look forward to a beautiful morning next time we attempt to plant, so bring along refreshments and your garden tools to the Model Aircraft Flying Club gate on Otto du Plessis Drive on SATURDAY 13TH OCTOBER FROM 8A.M. TO 11A.M.
 
The Cape of Storms
During the past month our coastline was once again lashed by massive waves and we noted how vulnerable we are against the forces of nature. Developments at the Lagoon mouth were fortunate to escape with minimum damage because they adhered to the setback buffer line behind the primary dunes. Rietvlei's coastal frontage with its high dunes is still in good shape as all the energy of the wave is absorbed before it reaches the vegetation on the dune. Unfortunately some Quad bikers from Sunset Beach think our dunes are a great place to ride their bikes and we ask that anyone seeing them there phone Big Bay Law Enforcement immediately on 554-3947. Once an example of impounding these bikes is made, we should have peace. A suitable place to ride sand dunes exists at Atlantis.
 
Evening Talk: Caring for our Coastline
The coast of South Africa is under pressure from many sides. Over exploitation of our Marine resources has left our rocky shores bare and fish populations precarious. Coastal development threatens much of our remaining coastal areas and marine pollution takes its toll on our marine life each year. The Wildlife and Environmental Society is involved in promoting improved management of our coastline and is currently with Coastcare: Working for the Coast programme. Anton Boonzaier from WESSA will be giving us a presentation on this topic at our next evening meeting.
EVENING TALK: Caring for our Coastline, by Anton Boonzaier
WHERE?……………MILNERTON AQUATIC CLUB, off Pentz Drive, Table View
WHEN?…………….. Thursday 11 October 2001 at 19h30 for 20h00
 
A FEW REQUESTS TO MEMBERS:
GATE:
Please could all members who have keys to the gate to the Milnerton Aquatic Club area ensure that when using the gate they make sure it is locked behind them. This must be done on both entering and leaving the Rietvlei area. Having keys to the gate is a privilege for our members and we do not want to get blamed for an unlocked gate.
WEBSITE:
The committee is very keen to get a Friends of Rietvlei web-page going but none of the committee are experts in this field. Are there any members out there who could take this project on???
If you could assist our conservation initiative in this way please contact Nelis Visagie on 082 777 5708.
 
SNIPPETS FROM AROUND RIETVLEI:
Model Aircraft Flying at Rietvlei:
Over the years concern has been expressed by some of our members at the flying of model aircraft by the Cape Radio Flyers (CRF) at Rietvlei. More recently, the use of planes with floats landing on the flooded pans near their runway has caused more concern.
Koos Retief, Environmental Site Officer for Rietvlei has forwarded a letter from CRF in which we are advised that the club will not be flying at Rietvlei whilst the runways are flooded and that no float planes will be used.
This is good news from CRF!
 
Signage:
The Municipality has been putting more regulatory signage up around Rietvlei. The pictograms have also been updated in areas.
Alien Vegetation clearing: By the end of June this year most of the Rooikrans and Port Jackson trees had been removed from the Lagoon area up to Racecourse Bridge. Municipal staff have used the sunny days through winter to clear around the Milnerton Aquatic Club and SANCCOB areas. The next area to be tackled is the coastal section from Sunset Beach to Dolphin Beach. A report by botanist Nick Helme will guide this work, so as not to expose large tracts of bare sand-dune to the summer southeasterly winds.
Water hyacinth was largely washed away during the good winter floods but unfortunately there are still some fragments left in the Diep River. The Municipality plans to employ some contract labour to start clearing this away before the summer heat encourages the rapid growth of the hyacinth.
 
Expansion of Potsdam Sewage Treatment Works:
The Draft Scoping Report, by Ninham Shand, for this project is now available at Table View or Milnerton libraries, or electronically at the consultants website www.web.shands.co.za\enviro\proj\current.htm. An Open Day/Public Meeting will be held on Wed 17 October 2001 at Milnerton Library, Pienaar Rd, Milnerton from 16h00 to 19h30. Please attend this meeting and find out what doubling the Sewage Treatment Works will do to Rietvlei. This expansion could affect flooding, water hyacinth, dust, reed growth, water quality, etc. Contact Dr Andrew Spinks or Milicent Solomoms on tel 424 5544 for queries. Your input is needed.
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