As the year comes to an end locals find themselves facing the annual population boom brought upon us by the arrival of holiday makers. This descent of the masses not only impacts the local economy but the environment itself. Here are a few steps that can be put in place by tourists and permanent residents alike to ensure the well-being and preservation of the environment and all within it for current and future generations to enjoy.
TAKE TIME TO SLOW DOWN
Holidays are an opportunity to relax, take things slowly and escape the hustle and bustle of city life. When traveling and trying to squeeze in as much as possible take time to appreciate the green areas that you pass by. These areas are home to a vast array of scaled, furry and feathered residents. We are privileged to live among these animals but as the number of road users increase the risk and threat to them increases as well. Impala and Morrison roads are hot spots where animals like Cape Grysbok, tortoises and spurfowl are often run over and killed. So stick to speed limits, keep a watchful eye open and simply slow down, after all reckless driving kills.
KEEP IN MIND LOCAL BYLAWS, LEGALITIES AND REGULATIONS.
Laws and regulations regarding our activities and environment are often set in place in order to ensure our own safety as well as enable long term conservation measures. Obtaining a fishing licence, from the Post Office behind PicknPay, and abiding by bag limit and catch size regulations is not only required by law but is a good way to teach compliancy and good conservation practice to the next generation.
Open fires, setting off fireworks or flares, the consumption of alcohol in public places and driving on the beach are punishable offences. During the holiday season when budget and money is already stretched who wants to cough out extra on fines that could easy be avoided through being compliant.
EXPLORE YOUR SURROUNDINGS
The Brak is rich in diversity with a wide variety of fauna and flora so keep your eyes peeled. Whether you are at the beach, on the river or walking up a kloof there is always something beautiful and unique to appreciate. Create memories in these areas and be sure to leave nothing but footprints. Please be aware that if you are going to be walking the Wolwedans dam trail, which is highly recommended, the wooden staircase at the end of the trail that takes one to the viewing platform above the dam wall has been closed to the public due to safety concerns. Go out and explore and don’t forget to post your findings on the Great Brak River Conservancy Facebook page.
The Mosselbay Municipality, conservancy members and local residents try to keep our area as clean as possible throughout the year by recycling and running regular formal and informal beach, estuary, river and dune clean-ups. Why not be part of this initiative? Household recycling and waste can be taken to the collection point at the Grootbrak De Dekke Centre or on Heyns road Kleinbrak. Take your rubbish with you when you leave the beach or river. Please do not dump refuse bags in green areas and or the side of the road. If you see general litter or evidence of dumping please pick it up and dispose of it correctly, your contribution towards a clean environment is greatly appreciated. We are in this together and encourage you to take responsibility and initiative. Should you wish to organise a beach or green area clean-up the Conservancy would be glad to help you facilitate this.
Kindness is often reflected in our actions and compassion towards others. Such compassion can be shared in situations like coming across a snake. Don’t kill it, simply phone the Great Brak Fire Department @ 044 6065235 and they’ll kindly remove it and relocate it for you. A lot of people worry about things like tortoises if they find one. The kindest thing you can do for a tortoise is leave it alone, it’s a wild animal whose biggest threat is people, it is not a pet. If you find a tortoise crossing the road and are worried about its safety, simply be its traffic marshal and kindly help it on its way in the direction it’s going. Whatever you do, don’t relocate it. Relocating tortoises has the potential to spread disease and potentially wipe out entire tortoise populations.
During this festive season we urge you to be mindful, respectful and considerate towards others and the environment. Should you have any conservation related questions and or concerns regarding our local environment please don’t hesitate to contact Great Brak River Conservancy Chairman Scott Thomson @ firstname.lastname@example.org.
Happy Holidays to all from the Great Brak River Conservancy.