Just a heads up on the availability of the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality’s Draft Coastal Management Program (CMP) which is now open for review, and the upcoming Public Open Day to discuss the findings of the plan.
The coastal zone covered in this Coastal Management Program extends from the Van Stadens River in the west to the Sundays River in the east. The seaward extent of the study area is 500 m seawards of the high water mark of the sea. The landward extent of the study area varies between 100 m inland of the high water mark of the sea in highly developed areas (e.g. between Kings Beach and Something Good), and 1 km inland of the high water mark of the sea in less developed areas (e.g. between Cape Recife and Kini Bay).
The 3 broad priority areas are discussed in this plan are:
I did a quick scan through the Southern beaches aspect of the draft plan and here's some points of interest I picked up:
(remember this is a draft plan, so points raised can all be subject to public input and debate)
Good news is the plans to establish the ‘sand budget’ of the coastal zone so there is a better understanding of how to protect landward structures and infrastructure from coastal erosion and/or sand inundation, and measures to encourage beach nourishment and dune stabilisation.
Bit concerning to see a section about "The public and authorities at the NMBM must prepare themselves to participate in EIAs for gas and oil harvesting in the coastal zone." Might mean the ou's that surveyed Algoa Bay a while ago mighta found something?
Also a high priority is to review the seaside sewer lines and pump stations, as well as check out the stormwater drains - which we all know can pour out some pretty filthy smelly stuff onto the beach on occasion. Worst offender being the Pipe at Avo's. Be great to have a study to check it all out.
Nodes along the Southern Beaches which have been identified for redevelopment/upgrading/rehabilitation include Flat Rocks, Pipe/Pollock and Bird Rock. Various plans to improve parking availability in peak season have been proposed, including creating an informal car park behind the existing car park at the Beach Office at Humewood Beach or even creating a multiple-level car park at the existing parking area there.
Interesting to note that it's been suggested that the existing parking area in front of Something Good should demolished and setback to the area west of the restaurant - from a coastal erosion/sand movement perspective. There are also plans to reconsider the current parking area at Pipe, with thoughts to move this further back out of the active dune area as well.
Upgrading of existing camping grounds and braai areas between Cape Recife and Schoenmakerskop has been proposed. Planning for the decommissioning of the car park at Sardinia Bay and relocation to a more suitable alternative site is a high priority. The new site would include a picnic/shade area and adequate ablution facilities. Their is mention made of planning for demolition of the car park at Maitlands Beach and then ensuring pedestrian connectivity with the day camp facility to the beach.
The NMBM has identified the beach at Avo's as a potential area for a future launch site. This would be subject to an environmental authorisation process. Based on the identification of the area as a ‘hotspot’ for humpback dolphin activity, this is possibly not a suitable area – specialist advice would have to be sought prior to planning commencing. Gonna have to keep a sharp eye on this one given that it's also a popular surf spot, so conflict with existing water users would be an issue. Plus any surfer knows that trying to get a boat outta that lil bay when a swell's running could be quite a challenge! So if you surf Avo's you might want to email them your thoughts on the proposed boat launch site there.
The Summerstrand lifesavers club is subject to sand inundation and coastal erosion. It is inappropriately located and needs to be demolished and setback. A new facility may require environmental authorisation depending on its location and footprint.
The above is just a quick synopsis of my brief read-through of the draft plan. If you're a beachfront resident or regular beach user who would like to be actively involved in commenting on the proposed management plan, then please take the time to read through it yourselves - as I have not highlighted all the area's that may be of particular interest to you!
The Draft CMP for the NMBM coastal zone is available for public review and comment here:
If you have any comments to make on the draft report, they are to be submitted within 30 days of this notice (i.e. by 5 March 2015) to:
Mike Cohen / Belinda Clark – CEN IEM Unit
So take the time to go through the draft plan and then send in your comments. No good waking up at the last minute when change is already underway in the future and then moan. Public participation from the outset makes things work that much better!
A public open day is planned to discuss the findings of the report:
Date: 28 February 2015
Venue: Walmer Town Hall
Format of the meeting:
The NMBM coastal zone has been divided into 3 areas for discussion: northern beaches (from Sundays River to Port Elizabeth Harbour), southern beaches (Kings Beach to Cape Recife), and the ‘Wildside’ beaches (Cape Recife to Van Stadens River). Three presentations will be given on each of these areas which describe the status of the coastal zone, and suggested management recommendations. Each presentation will be followed by an open discussion:
• Northern beaches: 10:00 to 11:00
• Southern beaches: 11:30 to 12:30
• The ‘Wildside’ beaches: 13:00 to 14:00
It would be highly beneficial to read the report, or at least the section that interests you, in preparation for the public open day discussion.
BE PRO-ACTIVE AND GET INVOLVED IN THE PROCESS FROM THE START.