Environmental expert raises current issues

2017-10-25 06:00
PHOTO: tania sandbergParticipating in the environmental talk, marine biologist Kendyl le Roux (left) and USCAA chairperson, Patricia McCann.

PHOTO: tania sandbergParticipating in the environmental talk, marine biologist Kendyl le Roux (left) and USCAA chairperson, Patricia McCann.

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THE Upper South Coast Art Association (USCAA­) hosted guest speaker, Kendyl le Roux, at the Art on Kingsway Gallery at Oasis Caltex Centre on Saturday, October 7, who presented an informal talk on current environmental issues.

Le Roux discussed issues pertaining to the ocean, whales, dolphins and pollution and shared thoughts on global warming.

“The most important thing about Amanzimtoti has always been the beach for my generation. We grew up before any of the big malls were established and fostered the idea of marine- based tourism. Several marine biologists have also come from Amanzimtoti recently, including myself, Brent Chiazzari, Kaylee Smit and Kirsty Wiggill.”

Le Roux has lived in Toti all her life and completed her schooling at Kingsway High. Le Roux was a lifesaver for Toti and enjoyed surfing. Her passion is understanding the ocean and although she studied for her Master’s degree in the United Kingdom, she is completing her PhD at UKZN.

She said it is currently whale season.

“The whales have just given birth and are now returning to the Antarctic.

“We have many issues, the most prominent being climate change or for those that are still in denial ‘biodiversity loss’. When huge developments take place there is certainly a huge loss of biodiversity of species and also habitat loss,” the expert pointed out.

Le Roux said that research is being conducted on certain beaches for broken-down plastics to microscopic pieces and the impact it has on the food chain and humans consuming fish.

“Locally the biggest concern certainly is management of waste as most of the discarded plastic containers flow down from urban areas into rivers and the sea.”

Another concern is the fact a desalination plant has been approved for the Illovo area.

Le Roux said that alternative spots were considered for the desalination plant, one being Tongaat, but it was rumoured that because the Tongaat community were up in arms, they focused on our area instead and manage to slip it through.

She advised the public to get involved in environmental issues by:

•Contacting www.coastkzn.co.za and outlining any environmental issues they might have, and they will put you in contact with the relevant person to lodge a complaint.

•Joining environmental non-profits such as Coast Watch or Toti Conservancy.

•Joining initiatives such as Coastal Clean-up.

“We should all be aware of our impact on the environment,” she said.

The proceeds from the Upper South Coast Art Association’s monthly painting lucky draw will be donated to the National Sea Rescue Institute.

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