MONITORING ESTUARIES IN KWAZULU-NATAL: A NEW BEGINNING?
Santosh Bachoo and Nolusindiso Jafta
Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, Department of Water Affairs

 

Abstract
In KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), abiotic and biotic data for estuarine systems south of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park remains incredibly deficient, with major once-off surveys completed in the early mid-eighties only, the exception being that of one of the local coastal municipalities that commissioned such work in 2009 on estuarine systems within its boundaries. This only allowed for 16 of 72 estuaries to have their information updated. As a result, much of the estuarine management in KZN was being based on outdated data which is not ideal. To address this, Ezemvelo, in collaboration with the Oceanographic Research Institute (ORI), has partnered with the national Department of Water Affairs (DWA) as part of its National Estuaries Monitoring Programme (NESMP) to monitor selected estuaries in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN). The NESMP is an Outcome 10 project of the Presidency and there is therefore great imperative to ensure the success of the programme. This programme has a three-tiered approach, of which we are in the first tier. The first tier involves the collection of basic estuarine water quality data. The second tier will focus on the biology of estuarine systems and the third tier will evaluate the previous two tiers to develop system-specific monitoring programmes that address their issues (e.g. eutrophication, fish kills etc.). The estuarine systems selected in KZN are the Mfolozi, Mlalazi, Zinkwazi, Nonoti Mhlanga, Mgeni, Mpenjati and the Mtamvuna. This paper serves to give an indication of the estuarine monitoring work being done in KZN, and convey the importance of the monitoring to ensure the proper management of our sensitive estuaries.
Presentation Topic
MONITORING ESTUARIES IN KWAZULU-NATAL: A NEW BEGINNING?
Contact Mr Bachoo:
Email Santosh Bachoo