Watercolour on Amedeo 200gsm
Just playing around with my watercolours this afternoon, I did this dune scene and it reminded me about a friend from Ballito in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa, telling me about the on-going saga of the mining of beach sand in the very eco-sensitive coastal region of Umdloti, not far from Ballito, and I’m actually stunned that this type of thing is still allowed in this day and age. Then I started researching the various beach grasses and found some very interesting information, which I’ve put in below. And by the sound of things, us humans still don’t know what we’re doing – first we plant all the beaches with grass to protect it, only to find that it’s too invasive and then having to remove it all again!
Ammophila builds coastal sand dunes and thus stabilizes the sand. For this reason, the plants have been introduced far from their native range, and has been introduced into virtually every British colonial settlement within its latitudinal tolerance range, including south-east and south-west Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, the Falkland Islands, and Norfolk Island. It has been planted widely in Japan and has been reported from Argentina and Chile." Ammophila species were introduced in the late 19th century on the Pacific coast of North America as well, and massive, intentional plantings were continued at least through 1960. In essentially all of the locations where they have been introduced, Ammophila plants are now listed as invasive, and costly efforts are underway to eradicate them.
A. arenaria became the most important means of dune stabilization, by human intervention, along the South African Cape coast in this century. Its modern distribution from the semi-arid West Coast to the subtropical shores of the Eastern Cape extends through various climatic zones. Although historical data is missing for some areas, there is no indication of its unaided spread. A. arenaria occurs at most sites because of its prior planting. The South African climate appears to affect its vigour. However, concern about the use of the alien grass has been raised since it has proved to be a highly invasive species in other parts of the world, particularly along the North American west coast and in Tasmania. While the CSIR (Council of Scientific and Industrial Research) promotes its use, CNC (Cape Nature Conservation) follows a policy that restricts the use of any alien plant, including A. arenaria, and requests further research on its invasive properties. Although a questionnaire survey shows that stabilization sites featuring large areas of A. arenaria are accepted by the South African public, current coastal management practices need to be analyzed critically. A thorough investigation of the potential invasiveness of A. arenaria on South African coastal dunes will be essential and shed new light on the American A. arenaria problem.
Most of the info from wikipedia
Daar is wetenskaplik bevind dat marram-gras los sand die beste in bedwang bring, soos reeds by die sandduine by Milnerton, Houtbaai en Muizenberg bewys is.
Lappiesbaai sand met gras gestuit
Mnre. Johan Lombaard, werkopsigter, Jan Veldsman, stads klerk, Müller van die WNNR en Emery van Hydromulch by die omgedolwe terrein.
Eie Korrespondent – Die Burger. Werk het op Lappiesbaai strand begin om die probleem van waaisand te bestry nadat ’n intensiewe studie deur die WNNR gedoen en ’n ruim staatskenking vir strandverbetering ontvang is. Dit sal R400 000 kos. Die werk word gedoen deur die firma Hydromulch van Midrand wat ook ’n tak in Kaapstad het, onder toesig van mnr. Koos Müller, ingenieur van die WNNR.
Stilbaai munisipaliteit voer die laaste paar dekades ’n tevergeefse stryd teen die waaisand wat die gebied by tye feitlik verswelg. Nabygeleë huise word soms só toegewaai dat die inwoners ’n pad na hul huis moet oopgrawe. Die advies van kundiges én onkundiges is gevolg en oor die jare was daar verskeie vrugtelose pogings om die probleem op te los, byvoorbeeld met houtheinings, gaasversperrings en klipmure. Sowat vyf jaar gelede het die raad hom gewend tot die WNNR. Die wetenskaplikes Laurie Barwell en Paul Lochner het ’n omvattende studie gedoen en aanbeveel dat die parkeerterrein agtertoe geskuif en die strand met marram gras gevestig word. Soortgelyke metodes is glo met welslae op ander strande toegepas. Mnr. Brian Emery van Hydromulch sê die werk sal twee maande duur en die strand sal voor die somervakansie gereed wees.