Environmental

Love it. Save it. Dive it.

We are very lucky to have a prime position on an incredible stretch of beach and with this the club prides itself on being an environmentally conscientious club. Lindsay is a keen paddler, surfer, swimmer and a diver so her passion for the planet runs deep. Lindsay has extensive experience on the ground in the waste space, working on the civil society plastic pact, engaging with industry and government to find solutions on how to reduce and eliminate single-use plastics. On the ground, lindsay is very active in organising beach, harbour, wetlands and river clean-ups, as well as visits to local schools, communities and corporates creating awareness and providing education around this space. We will continue to add environmental-themed cleanups, talks and presentations encouraging conversations around the critical subject of the state of our planet, and at the same time celebrate the beauty of nature itself.

Monthly Reef Clean up

The Durban beachfront is littered with plastic and pollution, the majority of which comes from the Umgeni River and the Harbour. The structure of the “Golden Mile” of Durban’s beachfront is such that once the rubbish washes from the river into the sea, it tends to collect at Vetch’s reef.

Recycle your flip flops

Breathe Ocean Conservation, in partnership with Lizzard and EVA Industries, has launched a recycling drive with flip flops. Local clubs, such as PWSC, have been asked to display bins so the public can drop off old flip flops so they can be returned to the factory to be recycled at the Eva factory - turned back into flip flops, used for inners on products like punching bags, and some will even be exported.

While there are a lot of initiatives to clean up bigger, visible plastic and litter on our beaches, there is not much focussed on cleaning what is in the ocean.

After the 2019 City Serve Event, Breathe and Zebra Shark Adventures teamed up to start a monthly underwater clean-up. The plan was to snorkel the reef and along the Harbour wall and collect any waste we found. The University of KwaZulu Natal (UKZN) was recruited to assist with data collection and analyse the rubbish collected. We were also hoping to work with art students from Vega University, who would be tasked with creating art from the litter collected. Sadly this project is currently on hold due to the Coronavirus pandemic. It will resume when we are given the go-ahead to do so. On days when sea conditions are not conducive for snorkeling, we will do a beach clean up and guided walk. This will ensure that we are a regular presence on the beachfront throughout the year, as we try to do our bit for a plastic free ocean, and raise public awareness at the same time.

For further information on the monthly clean ups, or general information about the individuals behind the cause please contact: Zebra Sharks
Billi-Jean 082 759 7596
Elzanne 073 821 0426
Sarah 082 754 7930

Vetch’s reef, named after the engineer in charge of creating a northern breakwater for Durban Harbour in the 1860s, is one of Durban’s hidden gems. It is popular with scuba divers, snorkelers, and even surfers and paddlers when the weather is right.

Today, Vetch’s reef hosts one of the largest subtidal mussel populations on the Durban coast. The reef is also rich in red-bait, as well as other animals. Sadly, much of the waste from Durban Harbour gets trapped in the coral of Vetch’s reef, while the rest washes up on adjacent beaches, separated by piers. The reef is now facing a dual-threat of long term / permanent damage due to plastic pollution from the river and harbour and from Municipal sand pumping schemes.

The reef has been colonised by diverse fauna – several species of coral, limpets, sponges and a variety of sub-tropical fish, including surgeonfish, flute fish, Crescent tail wrasse (Thalassoma lunare), Goldbar wrasse (Thalassoma hebraicum) and Bird wrasse (Gomphosus varius); Sergeant major (Abudefduf saxatilis); various butterflyfish, including Threadfin Butterflyfish (Chaetodon auriga) and Racoon Butterflyfish (Chaetodon lunula); Blacktail (Diplodus capensi); Boxfish (Ostracion cubicus) and Coachman (Heniochus diphreutes).