Friends of Rietvlei
Member of the Wildlife & Environment Society of South Africa Western Cape Region
Newsletter November 2009
Evening Talk and End-of-Year function.
Our final evening talk for the year will be on Thursday 26 November 2009 at the Rietvlei Education Centre at 7.30 for 8.00pm
The students will be reporting back briefly on their projects, and Bongani Mnisi, Area Manager of the City of Cape Town’s Biodiversity Branch, will give an illustrated talk on how Rietvlei fits into biodiversity picture for the northern part of the city : “Rietvlei – a Piece in the Puzzle of the Northern Area of the City”.
This is also our last function for 2009, so our tradition is to have a festive “bring and share” evening. Please could you bring a plate of eats, and drinks will be available. All members and their friends are welcome. For queries please phone Pauline on 083 255 2537.
At a meeting of the Rietvlei Management Working Group on 8 September, Lynn Jackson joined the committee to discuss the implementation of the Estuary Management Plan. The main discussion was exactly what the next steps are and how the process is to be taken further. So please take note of the following:
Implementation of the Estuary Management Plan (EMP) for the Diep Estuary, Milnerton, Cape Town
The final draft of the EMP for the Diep Estuary was submitted to the authorities in December, 2008. The focus has therefore now shifted towards implementation of the priority activities in the Action Plan which comprises part of the EMP. The priority activities include:
The legal status of the Nature Reserve.
Development of a new by-law.
An assessment of the sources of pollution in the stormwater drains along the East Bank of the estuary.
An assessment of heavy metal pollution in the estuary.
Development of an invasive species management plan
Studies related to the management of water flows in the system
Date: 3rd December, 2009
Time: 18:00 – 20:30
Venue: Blaauwberg Subcouncil Chamber in Bridle Road, Milnerton (opp The Paddocks Shopping Mall).
We are happy to announce that Henk Louw has been appointed to the position of Site Conservation Officer for the Diep River. Henk was working on Gough Island and returned to South Africa in mid October and he started in the job in late October. Henk graduated from Cape Peninsula University of Technology with a National Diploma in Nature Conservation in 2006, he did his practical year at Zandvlei in the southern Peninsula. In 2007-2008 he worked on Marion Island for the Department of Environment Affairs for 13 months as a field assistant and environmental control officer. After that stint the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds appointed Henk as senior research assistant on Gough Island where he has been involved in various research projects. Some of you may remember Henk as he assisted with the clean-up at Rietvlei after the December 2006 fish die-off.
We welcome Henk and wish him well in his new job – we are sure that he will make a positive contribution to the conservation of the important Diep River Corridor. And we hope that he will share his experiences on Marion and Gough Islands with some evening talks!
Potsdam Bus Depot for Integrated Rapid Transit System.
An integral part of the Integrated Rapid Transit System now being built along the R27, is a bus depot at the northern end of Potsdam Road. This will be one of two large bus depots in Phase 1A, the other is at Culembourg, where buses will be housed, serviced and cleaned.
This depot will be situated in “The Stables” industrial area west of Potsdam Rd just north of Doornbach and Du Noon. The facility will provide valuable employment opportunities to the people of Doornbach and Du Noon, which can only be welcomed, but it is also next to the Diep River and the effects of this development on the river needs to be closely monitored.
The first EIA for developments at the depot is for the installation of a 480 000 litre underground diesel storage facility on the site. The Friends of Rietvlei has registered as an Interested and Affected Party and will be closely involved in the EIA process.
Expansion and Upgrading of Wastewater Treatment Infrastructure in the Blaauwberg Area.
This important matter which we reported on in our previous newsletter has now also been discussed by the Blaauwberg Subcouncil, with a further report at the November meeting. At this stage we do not have any additional news, except to assure all our members that we are keeping our ears to the ground and will respond and act when necessary.
Alien Vegetation Hacked on Saturday 17 October
We tackled some aliens in the Rietvlei Wetland Reserve on Saturday 17 October. A small but effective group gathered at Paddocks parking lot and proceeded to the area for clearing in the vicinity of the southern side of Otto du Plessis bridge. We started early so that the rest of the Saturday was free. Muscle-power, tree poppers and soft ground after the rains enabled the team to clear a 600sqm area in two hours. Whilst the area is a bit obscured by long grass, there are still many more Port Jackson’s sprouting up and it would be a good idea to get another hack together to continue the good work.
In and Around our Rietvlei Education Centre……
We have decided to sponsor the cost of having a baby dolphin mounted. The dolphin was picked up at Big Bay some time ago shortly after it died and was washed up on the beach. Unfortunately the mounting procedure takes some time. A second otter has also been in the taxidermy process and should appear in the centre soon.
Some beetle has attacked our woodwork so that will be attended to by beetle exterminators soon.
We have appointed a consultant to prepare the artwork for our information boards. This is to replace the boards that were on display for many years in the wooden “huts”. These stands will also be renovated.
The recycling project that intern, Conette Koorts, has established is working well with the contractor removing the recyclables weekly. Please remember to bring your glass, plastic, metal, paper and cardboard with you when you visit Rietvlei.
Energy Efficiency or Energy Reduction
Energy efficiency has been described as a renewable energy resource that is perfectly cheap, abundant and immediately available. It can reduce carbon emissions and reduce our dependence on imported energy resources. It does not pollute, and it does not depend on the weather like solar and wind power.There are several ways of improving energy efficiency in your home – here is another tip:
Your hot water geyser uses over a third of your monthly electricity consumption; micro-managing your geyser can reduce the load considerably. Here’s some tips to reduce your geyser’s energy consumption:
Switch the geyser off between 06h00 and 21h00, and when you go away on holiday.
Turn the thermostat down to 60C.
Insulate your geyser and pipes.
Shower instead of bathing.
In our next newsletter we will have another energy efficiency tip for you.
Thanks go to Chevron Refinery for sponsoring envelopes for the posted newsletter.
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