The Coves Biodiversity Plan
AIMS AND BENEFITS
- Integrated Environmental Management
- Biodiversity Improvement
- Catchment Management
- Sustainable Development Principles
- Waste Minimisation
- Operational Best Practices
- Water Resource Protection
- Communication & Awareness
- Stormwater Management & Erosion Control
- Aquatic Ecosystem Habitat Preservation, Creation & Optimisation
- Integrated Water Use Licenses Artificial
- Functional Wetland & Grey Water Re-use
Woodland and wetland
Wetlands provide numerous immensely beneficial and valuable eco-system services which are unique and inherent for people and wildlife including; cleaning, filtrating and purifying the water; reducing sediments; storing (like a sponge) and slowing floodwaters; maintaining surface water flow; wildlife habitat and biological productivity. The woodland within the drainage-line and wetland ecosystem also provides important wildlife habit.
- To have a holistic approach.
- To identify, manage and control the Alien Invader Species (AIS).
- To incorporate Indigenous and Endemic Vegetation Species.
- To preserve the current biodiversity and promote biodiversity improvement.
- To include short-term and long-term actions.
- To include Applicable Legislation.
- To use the AIS which have been removed for uses such as mulching in the Woodland, firewood, sitting logs and stabilisation of the roads and trails which traverse the wetland
- To phase-out the AIS and re-plant with indigenous, endemic species within an estimated 15—20-year timeframe, as approved by the Woodland environmental subcommittee.
- Please refer to the Woodland and Wetland Ecosystem Sustainable Development Plan for full details.
- A Vegetation Identification Factsheet has been compiled as well as a Suggested Tree and Vegetation List for replanting.
To re-establish the shoreline and bufferzone vegetation along the Hartbeespoort Dam. This serves vital functions for the protection of water quality and performs beneficial and valuable eco-system services including: filtration and reduction of sediments, nutrients, pathogens and toxins in runoff; bank stability; reduction of erosion; as well as valuable habitat for wildlife.
Floating wetlands will be incorporated, and a boom to manage the hyacinth, litter and algae.
- To include waste minimisation principles by utilising the Water Hyacinth as mulch under the trees, and the Kariba Weed as mulch in the bufferzone.
- To include a variety of vegetation species within the rehabilitation of the shoreline. The more varied the species – the more wildlife they will support.
- To include open areas to allow for recreational activities, such as fishing.
- The floating wetlands will be incorporated in conjunction with the Department of Water Affairs’ Metsi a Me programme. These provide numerous benefits in terms of water purification and Biodiversity improvement and form part of an important aquatic foodweb.
- To manage the litter, water hyacinth and algae in this area, which is blown into the bay by the predominant wind from the north. The implementation of a boom will assist with this.
Even though Bass Dam is man-made, it performs important water filtration functions via the filtration of nutrients within the incoming water from the catchment.
The aim is to improve the variety of vegetation species, which will sustain a diversity of wildlife; these all form part of a balanced food web.
A certain percentage of vegetation is required to maintain that balanced food web, which will result in improved water quality.
- To include different categories of plants (floating, submerged and marginal) as they perform different functions within a Balanced Food-web, as well as provide different habitats for different wildlife species.
- To include 4 inspection ‘strips’ on the dam wall – whereby the vegetation is kept short. The purpose of these are to observe if any leak sites are visible. New trees which emerge, will be removed, as they pose a risk to the stability of the dam wall.
- The Bass Dam Ecosystem Sustainable Development Management Plan and the Vegetation Identification Factsheet are being compiled. This includes short, medium and long-term goals. The Suggested Vegetation List for re-planting has been compiled.
- Several indigenous vegetation species are present: this includes Schoenoplectus, Bulrush and Phragmites. They perform vital functions in terms of water purification, as well as provide habit for a myriad of wildlife. They are part of an important food web that should be preserved, therefore in certain areas where filtration is paramount, (such as the inlet) – they will be encouraged to multiply.
The Frog Sanctuary, which is also a seepage wetland, is located on the western boundary of the Woodland & Wetland Ecosystem, where seven species have been identified in 2003. This area has been classified as a protected area.
To include Appropriate Management Protocols: (Short-term actions)
- No cutting or mowing of the grass.
- No pesticides, herbicides, fungicides or chemicals to be used.
- Indigenous, endemic (local) vegetation and grasses are promoted which are adapted to flourish in wetland and riparian conditions.