As we reflect on World Wetlands Day, we're thrilled to shine a spotlight on the lifelines of our region – the five main river systems that we are dedicated to protecting and restoring. These rivers, each intertwined with a rural town, not only provide water for human consumption but also sustain our rural agricultural economies. Join us on a journey through these ecosystems and consider how you can help to protect these systems for future generation.
The Huis/Tradouw System Supporting Barrydale and Smitsville
The Huis/Tradouw System originates in the Langeberg mountains above Grootvadersbosch. The river meanders down the northern side of the mountains and provides water for Barrydale/Smitsville and then flows into the Tradouw Pass. Home to the critically endangered Tradouw Redfin and freshwater eels, our team is actively monitoring and restoring this system under a new project funded by the IUCN.
The Duiwenhoks System Supporting Heidelberg
The Duiwenhoks river winds through the kloofs of the Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve, providing water for Heidelberg and eventually embracing the ocean at Vermaarklikheid. Our commitment to the upper section involves clearing alien vegetation, monitoring, and collaborating with partners, ensuring it remains a lifeline for agriculture and the town of Heidelberg.
THe Korente-Vette River System supporting Riversdale
In a transformative project, we've joined forces to clear the natural river gorge below the Korentepoort Dam. This collaborative effort enhances water supply to the town of Riversdale and supports agriculture by meticulously removing invasive plants with complex rope access teams, a strategically important project, achieved in partnership with Landcare and the Korente Vette Irrigation Board.
The Koringlands River supporting Swellendam
Celebrating the beauty of the Koringlands River in the heart of Swellendam, we're working to remove alien vegetation and restore natural wetlands. In collaboration with Swellendam municipality, the Breede-Olifants Catchment Management Agency, and landowners, we hope to transform this vital system and improve the health of the river and the surrounding ecosystem.
The Grootvadersbosch River supporting Suurbraak
The Grootvadersbosch River is the lifeblood of our community, supporting agriculture and flowing through the heart of our Conservancy. With thriving indigenous fish, diverse birdlife, and ongoing efforts to clear invasive species, we're committed to safeguarding and nurturing this precious resource for generations to come.
On this World Wetlands Day, we invite you to explore the rich tapestry of our rivers and wetlands. If you're inspired to support our work or learn more about your local river and wetlands, please visit our website:
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Together, let's protect and cherish these invaluable resources for a sustainable and resilient future.
GVB Conservancy Staff