#EcoTravels: DEA's coastal awareness campaign cleans up KZN beaches

2017-12-09 11:36 - Kavitha Pillay
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(Photo: iStock)

Cape Town - Gearing up for environmentally and socially responsible beach visits this summer holiday, the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA), together with other stakeholders, hosted a beach clean–up and an awareness session on Friday, 8 December, at Reunion Beach in Durban.

"As the festive season begins, the DEA will be conducting a Coastal Awareness Campaign in order to highlight some of the issues that impact the coastal environment, especially during this time of the year. These issues include, but certainly not limited to, access to coastal public Property (CPP), vehicle access on the coastal zone, marine pollution, as well as ensuring compliance and enforcement of legislation relevant to the coastal environment," says the DEA.

ALSO SEE: New Ocean Life Festival set to kick off in Cape Town's Waterfront

Mzansi's coastline stretches almost 3000km, boasting numerous beaches for the public’s enjoyment and recreation, and everyone has a right to access these beaches and public amenities.

DEA says that government has a duty to manage, protect and enhance the interests of the community while ensuring that the "natural resources within the coastal areas are used in a socially, economically justifiable and ecologically sustainable manner for the benefit of the current and future generations".

Umhlanga Summer Festival beach clean-up

Umhlanga Summer Festival 2017, which takes place from 14-23 December, is also placing priority on ensuring an environmentally-responsible beach festival, and aims to make a difference this year with a daily beach clean-up after each day's activities.

"Led by entertainer Kevin Ellis kiddies will be inspired to make a difference by quickly cleaning up litter at the end of a day's fun and games," says the festival on Facebook.

The Beach Festival encourages visitors to participate in fun and games on the uMhlanga Millennium Stage with daily activities planned around the main beach as well as on the stage from 10:00 to 14:00 daily.

The programme features nostalgic old-school family fun – hula hoops; tug-of-war, musical chairs, face-painting, talent showcase, mini Olympics and more. Kevin Ellis is a multi-awarded international champion line dancer and will be leading open public dance sessions on the beach stage teaching basic line-dance moves. 

The programme wraps up every afternoon at 13:30 with the community beach clean up to ensure that everyone gets involved in keeping the beaches in their pristine condition. 

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UPDATE: Source of toxic nurdles posing risk to SA's marine food chain found as mass beach clean-up continues