GEORGE NEWS - The great amount of rubbish that pollutes and eventually washes down rivers and estuaries was highlighted recently when heavy rains caused litter to be spewed onto Wilderness beach earlier this month.
A George Herald reader was appalled by the sight of mountains of rubbish marring the lovely beach at Flat Rock and sent a photo, wanting to know when it would be cleaned up.
SANParks spokesperson Nandi Mgwadlamba gave the assurance that their Working for the Coast teams had responded speedily to collect the rubbish. "Our teams were in fact applauded by Wilderness locals for their swift action. The picture was taken on 15 September.
"Our team confirms that heavy rains a few days before the picture [was taken] flushed the George rivers, leaving loads of rubbish on the beach."
Mgwadlamba said the litter was so thick at one spot that the NSRI alerted the Wilderness Section of the Garden Route National Park to what seemed to be airplane wreckage. When rangers went to investigate by boat, they found only rubbish, suspected to have come from the rivers.
The SANParks Biodiversity Social Programmes division is planning to add two more teams for beach clean-ups.
"We currently have nine teams in Wilderness. Four of the nine are attending to beach clean-ups and areas around the Touw River estuary. One team is on the hiking trails in Wilderness and the remaining four are clearing invasive alien plant species (IAPs). Two of the four IAP teams will be moved to join beach clean-ups."
She urged members of the public to start and/or join regular beach clean-ups in their area. "Pollution is our collective problem and we all need to roll up our sleeves to tackle it. For a further discussion, contact SANParks on 044 877 1197."
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