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Project Storm is minimising ocean waste in Overstrand Municipality

A drain catchment net in Gansbaai Harbour, preventing waste from reaching the ocean. Picture: Supplied

A drain catchment net in Gansbaai Harbour, preventing waste from reaching the ocean. Picture: Supplied

Published Jun 22, 2021

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Cape Town - Marine Dynamic Tours, Dyer Island Conservation Trust and the Overstrand Municipality, in Hermanus, have come up with an environmental breakthrough, Project Storm, to minimise the amount of waste reaching oceans, through implementing storm drain catchment nets.

Dyer Island Conservation Trust project manager Brenda Walters said by placing large nets over storm water drain outlets, waste gets caught before it ends up in the ocean.

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Walters said the project started in 2019 and was inspired by an initiative in Australia, after the trust founder Wilfred Chivell realised the need for a net system, over the storm water drain outlets, in Gansbaai.

The project manager said the environmental team from Overstrand Municipality did an extensive storm water drain audit, providing the information to continue the project – there are now 63 outlets in Gansbaai alone.

OVERSTRAND Municipality stencilled educational messages at drain entrance points that reads: “Don’t litter. The sea starts here”.
A DRAIN catchment net in Hawston, Hermanus, preventing waste from reaching the ocean.
OVERSTRAND Municipality stencilled educational messages at drain entrance points that reads: “Don’t litter. The sea starts here”.

After 17 analysed net counts, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning MEC Anton Bredell said the net at Gansbaai harbour filled up regularly with massive amounts of cigarette filters, food wrappers, containers, non-recyclable chip packets, plastic bottles and cans.

“We would love to see this project grow along the South African coastline, but it will require the support of municipalities in terms of long-term management, said Walters

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Overstrand Municipality senior environmental manager Liezl de Villiers said the municipality played a big role in clearing the nets as part of waste management and would make funding available for the project.

“The trust will be on a roadshow in August with Plastics SA, from Cape Town to Durban, engaging with interested organisations. As we receive calls from across SA, it seems most are struggling to get buy-in from their municipalities and the project does require a great deal of time, energy and funding, so partnerships are critical,” said Walters.

Bredell said the project had great potential and the department was keeping an eye on it in terms of rolling it out further in the province.

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The latest drain catchment nets have been implemented in Hawston, Hermanus, to minimise waste reaching the Paddavlei – a fragile wetland affected by pollution and reed overgrowth.

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Cape Argus

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