St Lucia Update

11 01 2017

Update on work to remove dredge spoil from the Lake St Lucia Estuary mouth

29 Apr 2016

Dear Business Owners, Licensed Operators, Ratepayers and Residents

Good progress is being made by iSimangaliso’s contractor, Cyclone Engineering, to establish their site for removing dredge spoil placed artificially in the mouth of the Lake St Lucia estuary. This is the largest wetland rehabilitation project in Africa and part of iSimangaliso’s efforts towards the hydrological and ecological restoration of the Lake St Lucia system.

The first phase of this work aims to remove a 100 000m3 of dredge spoil (a portion of section A on the figure below). Further funding is available to begin the next phase once progress with section A has been made and performance assessed. The operation will begin at the northern tip of section A and move southwards.

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A slab has been laid at the Estuary Beach car park to accommodate the 17 ton generator and other plant. The pumps and pipes for the sand pumping operation have been delivered. Power lines will run from the main car park to the dredge spoil site.

 

The electricity is needed to power the slurry pumps and the water cannon that will blast the sand into a slurry, which will then be pumped into the inter-tidal zone. The pipes delivering the slurry to the sea will be laid on top of the beach but, buried in areas where vehicles access the beach for boat launching.

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Together with iSimangaliso, the contractor is assessing options to source the water for the sand pumping operation, including from the sea and the uMfolozi River side of the estuary. As water levels in the estuary are low and it’s unlikely that there will be significant rain during the winter, using estuary water from the narrows is the last resort.

The testing of the pumping of the sand is expected to commence in May.

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The Estuary Beach car park may need to be closed. A turning circle and parking area at Ingwe Beach car park has been re-gravelled should this be the case. Vehicles towing boats will continue to have access to the beach through the Estuary Beach car park for launching. The launch site control manager will be kept abreast of day to day issues that skippers may need to be aware of.

Please can you inform your guests of the operation around the estuary and on the beach, cautioning against exploration of the rehabilitation site.

Although the drought conditions are making the implementation of this project challenging, we look forward to the commencement of this next step in the restoration of South Africa’s most important estuary.

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