Friends of Rietvlei
Newsletter April 2002
Another successful year has passed by for Friends of Rietvlei and we invite all members (and any visitors who wish to attend) to our forthcoming AGM which will be held:
AT:    MILNERTON AQUATIC CLUB, off Pentz drive, Table View
FROM:  7:30pm for paying of subs and collecting membership cards
           8:00pm for business and speaker
Koos Retief, Environmental Site Officer for Rietvlei will give a talk on "Towards Active Management for Rietvlei".
We look forward to a good turnout from our members - the committee works hard on your behalf and they would appreciate your attendance at the AGM.
Reed clearing in the Rietvlei Wetland Reserve
Mr Leonard Henning of HENCHEM has been appointed by the Blaauwberg Administration of the City of Cape Town to conduct peripheral weed control at the pond that borders Marine Drive and Otto du Plessis Drive, north of the Dolphin Beach Hotel. Mr Henning started this project on 2 April 2002 and will work until the project has been completed, but by no later than 30 June 2002.
Mr Henning is appointed to cut and remove 75% of the standing plants of bulrush Typha capensis and to chemically treat the bases of the bulrush reeds after they have been cut, in order to prevent them from resprouting. The expansion of reed beds is caused by the nutrient enrichment of wetlands and water courses due to pollution and stormwater runoff. This reed clearing project aims to manage the size of the reed beds and their associated problems by removing a certain amount of the standing plants. The management of the size of reed beds is in harmony with one of the objectives of the Rietvlei Wetland Reserve - to conserve the indigenous biological diversity.
Alien vegetation clearing in the coastal dunes between Sunset Beach and Dolphin Beach (Rietvlei Wetland Reserve)
The Blaauwberg Administration - City of Cape Town is implementing and supervising a Working for Water alien vegetation clearing project in the Rietvlei Wetland Reserve. The Working for Water programme is administered by the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry.
The Working for Water project at Rietvlei aims to remove the alien vegetation and to stabilise the dunes by stacking the brush material in wind-rows. The Blaauwberg Administration will also re-vegetate the dunes with indigenous plant species in order to re-establish the lost patches of vegetation, and to prevent the movement of the dunes. Eventually the dry brush material will be removed to reduce the fire hazard. The fence between these dunes and the Otto du Plessis Drive (R27) will also be repaired and suitable regulatory and information signs will be displayed. A litter and rubble removal project is also due to commence shortly with funding made available from the City of Cape Town's " Mess Action Campaign"
It has been recognised that the dense Rooikrans (Acacia cyclops) on the dunes between Dolphin Beach and Sunset Beach has become a problem. This part of the Table Bay coast is used for low-impact recreational purposes as well as offering a scenic view of Table Mountain.The dunes contain indigenous vegetation types called Strandveld, Dune Asteraceous Fynbos, and Dune Thicket, which are prone to invasion by the more aggressive Australian Acacia species such as Rooikrans and Port Jackson (Acacia saligna). If these invaders are not removed, they can cause the local disappearance of indigenous plant species. Furthermore the dense infestations increase the likelihood of uncontrolled wildfires, and unlawful activities such as the dumping of litter and rubble. A similar project is being undertaken in the coastal section of the Blaauwberg Conservation Area between Big Bay and Kreeftebaai.
Table View boundary channel/berm
In April last year (2001) a section of the Rietvlei boundary was formalised with the excavation of a channel/berm. This work has been successful in defining the edge of Rietvlei. Further funding has been made available from the City of Cape Town for the extension of the channel/berm in an easterly direction. This work commenced after Easter under the guidance of Rietvlei's Environmental Site Officer, Koos Retief. For enquiries on this and the previously mentioned projects please contact: Koos Retief, Environmental Management, Blaauwberg Administration - City of Cape Town, Tel: (021) 550 1086.
Damage to bird hide
We are very sorry to report that some *@*#* members of our society have thought it "cool" to damage the seating and floor of our hide once again. Fortunately we have had a speedy offer from Jacques and Jackie Tredoux of the DO-IT-YOURSELF-SHOP in Brooklyn to undertake the urgent repairs. What a blessing it is to have the good people to counteract the bad. Thank You!!
Come and do something practical for Rietvlei
Another "good" person is working for Rietvlei - please join Louis Raubenheimer and others for an hour or two of alien vegetation removal or "hacking".
Dates: 27 April and 11 May
Time: 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Please call Louis for further particulars on 554 2221 (or 082 651 5437) if you are interested in joining one of the hacks.
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