Sunday, May 18, 2008

Water Water Every Where

Rumors are flying around St. Lucia pubs regarding the Estuary mouth. All of them suggest that the Park Authority is contemplating the rerouting of the iMfolozi River back into the Estuary system.


This is a condition that appeared for many years but due to high volumes of sediment washing down the iMfolozi and no more flood planes to filter through, this has changed. Some time ago the River was channeled into the Estuary behind Honey Moon bend Islands.


During the prolonged drought of the past seven years these channels where also closed up. The Estuary is silted up behind the islands all the way to the St. Lucia Bridge. What will be done to remove this silt is unclear since all meetings are done behind closed doors and no public are allowed.


Since the St. Lucia Estuary system plays a vital role in the health of our marine migrating species it is of utmost importance to find a solution that will turn this back into a functional system.


Since Sugar cane framing in the late 1930's as taken over the flood planes of the iMfolozi River the system became threatened. The biggest threat to any wild life is habitat destruction by humans. For many years KZN Wild life had a minimum human interference approach towards The Greater St. Lucia Wetlands Park.


This approach is not possible with all the outside pressure created by humans. Further complicating matters is the achevement of World Heritage Status in 1999. Many developers have turned their sights to this area and the balance between man and beats is a sensitive issue and over development and habitat destruction are becoming a real issue of concern.


The management of the park was handed to The Greater St. Lucia Wetlands Park Authority after World Heritage Status was achieved. KZN Wildlife was responsible for the management and development of this park prior to this. Facing many threats over the past 113 years and co exciting with vast hectares of pine trees people like Dr. Ian Player and George Hughes as preserved this piece of Heritage for prosperity until it where recognized by the World has a piece of Heritage that are worthy of World protection.


The fragile future of this World renown Park now vests in the hands of The iSimangaliso Park Authority. An Application to trademark the park under this name has been submitted. How this will affect the future of the park and its people are unclear.


Written by:

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