The Zandvlei Action Committee.
Minutes of the meeting held on 3 October 2006 at 14h00 in the Zandvlei Sports Club.
1. Welcome and Introductions
NN welcomed all present.
2. Water Levels
Since the onset of the winter rain the estuary mouth had been kept open often receding to .07 between winter storms and high tides. This low level optimized the natural ‘scouring’ of the channel
and enhanced intertidal exchange. However some Marina residents and Zandvlei Canoe Club felt it was too low for aesthetic reasons. Talcott indicated that in winter the water level is
recommended to be 0.6 msl.to account for any flooding that may occur. This year the water level did not drop below the recommended level.Talcot Percent made available the dates when the estuary was and is to be closed this year:1 Feb , 3 March, 31 March, 28 April, 9 October.
3. Water Quality [see attached report from CH - not attached]
A plan was supplied by martin Thompson indicating the sewage pump stations effecting the vlei and indicated which of these have and don’t have back up generators, the Ecoli counts have dropped substantially.
4. Salinity and Turbidity
The salinity levels are increasing and the waterbody of the vlei and the Marina channels are continuing to emulate a natural estuarine system.
5. Pondweed [Operational Plan]
RdlC Has undertaken to produce a plan indicating a 6 – 8 week cycle of when different areas of the vlei and canals will be expecting the weed cutters to be harvesting pond weed. He did report that a new ‘maintenance team’ was taking over the servicing of the 2 elderly weed cutters and that 1 weed cutter will be permanently based at Zandvlei and 1 will be a rotating machine. The experienced drivers would remain. Ricardo also indicated that down time of the machines and the grab truck due to breakages, sick days and weather should be considered when looking at the proposed program. Rob Maclean and Ricardo to meet to disuss alternative drop off sites. Action - RM to supply a map of the vlei to RDLC illustrating the canoe racing and training routes. It would also be good to draw RDLC attention to the study by Bill Harding on the management of the potomogetom with special reference to the ‘reserve areas’ for future management planning. Ricardo to produce plan.
6. Litter traps
Contractors have been appointed on a three monthly basis for a year to keep the edges of the vlei clean and to clean out the litter traps closest to the vlei on a 2 weekly basis. Talcott indicated that his teams will be responsible for the other litter traps and that they clean the sand river canal 3 x a year. Talcott undertook to put up more catch nets at park island near the bird hide.
Imminent proclamation still sitting with Tasneem Essop [nearly 12 mths now]. Cassy Sheasby to following up.
8. Park Island
Rehabilitation is progressing well. Ricardo has maintained paths well and maintenance by Council is improving. Erika organized for 2 small ‘stands’ of kikuyu grass to be sprayed. X 10 that volume and growing still needing to be attended to. More plants were planted by Nature Conservation. Henk to show Cherry what was planted where. Cassy to follow up on Kikuyu spraying.
9. Tube Worm
It was agreed that the tube worm are vital to health of the vlei as they filter total volume of water in vlei every 26 hours. Nature Conservation to assess whether tube worms can be removed in certain areas and if this would impact significantly on the ecological function of the vlei as well as make recommendations on how we could deal with specific areas that are heavily infested with tube worms that are resulting in clashes with recreational activities. Cassy to provide Cherry with a copie of the recent tubeworm report done by Zandvlei student.
Still a problem on the vlei with no budget available to address the situation. Nature Conservation to investigate whether there is any eradication program in the pipe line with regards to the eradication of exotic waterfowl.
11. Channel Scouring/Thesens Bridge
Ninham Shand researched the original model of the functioning of the estuary mouth. If the siltation sand bar rises above the level of the weir it could become a ecological problem. John Coetzee needs to complete a survey first before decisions are made and budget requested. Talcott to investigate whether survey has been conducted, and whether budget has been allocated. Council departments (Nature Conservation, Environmental Management, Engineering, Catchment Management) to meet to discuss way forward. Input to be obtained from MCM regarding fish migration and the effect of creating a channel on the estuarine functioning.
12. Invasive Waterweed
Imposed booms are holding back 4 cells of water hyacinth in the Westlake Wetland. Nature conservation came to a consensus that the best way to remove this hyacinth at the moment is manually, with a team of workers removing the hyacinth to the banks by hand using rakes and garden forks. This would be the most ecologically sound way to remove the hyacinth until January and we would like to prevent damage to the surrounding banks and vegetation of the waterways which occurs when heavy machinery is used to limit the effect that cleaning the river may have on Leopard toads. Talcott to get contract team to remove hyacinth by hand. Cassy to apply for funding for future clearing.
13. Mowing Season
Reminder to all council departments to be sensitive to the growth of spring flowers and the nesting season when scheduling mowing of the area. No mowing of Park Island should occur between September and October.
14. Next meeting 6 Dec 2006 at 14h00, in the Zandvlei Sports Club.