This Durban weekend, there will be two beach clean-ups open for volunteers to spend a few hours on the beach helping make pretty again. The beach in focus is the Blue Lagoon, meeting at the Mangrove Swamps at the Umgeni River Mouth. Check the Facebook event HERE for more details and to join the community and use #cleanbluelagoon
On Saturday and Sunday the beach clean ups start at 9am and run til around noon. Bring some appropriate clothing (it may be windy or a lil wet), shoes you will be comfortable in, considering you will be on the beach, your own plastic/glass water bottle and snacks if you might want them, and some smiles. Black bags and gloves will be available. Kids and dogs are welcome to also attend, though it must be noted that this is a trash clean up, so there may be some pointy rusty things lying around.
River mouths are an important and vital element of our culture and ecosystem (the one we rely on because we are just a component of it). The Umgeni River, rising in Dargle and approximately 232 km long with a catchment area of 4,432 km², runs through KZN, tumbles down Howick Falls and brushes past and through the city to meet the Indian Ocean in a passionate embrace we call Blue Lagoon (more here). Along the way, it carries life to all lifeforms along its path, shifting nutrients and information, while removing toxic things along the way. In this sense, it very much resembles our blood system, itself a carrier, feeder and cleaner of our human body.
And so, viewing this trash gives us an indication of the state of our (the lands) health. All of this trash has had a source, and that source is humans. It’s easy to blame people living on the river, yet the truth is, we all support the ‘disposable’ consumer system in small ways every days. Seeing pictures of the trash on the beaches demonstrates how clogged our rivers/arteries are, and what kind of junk is floating round them. And leaves us with the questions of what behavioral changes to make, in order to become stronger and more resilient to the storms that scientists are warning us, are on the way.
We now have empirical scientific data that shows the effects of climate change driven by human activity is revealing itself around the world, and the solutions seem rooted not only in new technology and tighter regulation, but through a culture change, a switch in the way we do things fundamentally. This really is a fight for the world our children receive as their natural heritage, and it is one that we must take on as individuals, families, communities and society if we have any chance of securing fully functioning ecosystems and abundance of strong communities, healthy lifestyles and the diversity of nature on display for those that follow us. They are watching us from the future, and what we do in these days will be our legacy, our gift to them
Fbook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/504370473107145/