Love Knysna Projects was proud to play host to the SAMSA Sea Pledge Tour 2013 which was initiated by the wonderful crew from the Sustainable Seas Trust (SST).
The 15-stop tour began in Saldanha Bay and will finish in Sodwana. SST is an NGO dedicated to restoring South Africa’s coastline through education and support for the people that rely on it. Their goal is to establish Hope Spots, a term coined by Dr Sylvia Earle for areas where the ocean will be protected so that life can flourish. Knysna is in consideration.
The sunny morning began with a breakfast at the Knysna Yacht Club which was followed by a presentation by Dr Tony Ribbink, a founding member of SST. He called for dedicated individuals to guard the Knysna Estuary and coast, offering facilitation and support to the committee that is intended to launch later this year.
In attendance were representatives from Knysna Tourism, Sedgefield Tourism, Freshline Fisheries, Capitec Bank and many more. It was especially good to see teachers, headmasters and honourary students from the Knysna High, Concordia High and Percy Mdala High schools there.
The afternoon was aimed at teenagers and sea cadets from the aforementioned schools as well as Hornlee Secondary. Commander Steve Eriksen was kind enough to allow use of the Sea Cadets’ hall where SST ladies Annerie Lamprecht and Desiree Schirlinger gave enthusiastic encouragement for sea conservation. After the 25 students had signed sea pledges, they were super pleased to receive sturdy lunch boxes and water bottles sponsored by SAMSA.
Then it was off to Lookout Point, a visual extravaganza at the top of the East Head which offers, on one side, the best view of the Knysna Estuary and, on the other, a red-rocked and watery view of Coney Glen. It was down to Coney Glen for lunch and then the SST crew pointed out the wonders of nature to individual students.
Dinner that night and breakfast the next day with the whole crew was fun and educative. It was good to chat directly and freely, as well as share laughs, with Junior (SAMSA) and Dr. Tony Ribbink.
Thanks very much to all who made this possible: Kate Hendry, the lady on point for SST was a delight to work with; Enathi Mqokeli was always filming and shooting so we were made to look forward to the video; transport to and fro would never have been possible without the support of Dee Manning, Steve Eriksen, Ulrich Olivier and OSU (Office Supplies Limited). Last, but by no means least, thanks to the Knysna Yacht Club for believing in the cause and giving us a generous discount on the venue…and to Dawn, their manager, for being so tolerant of us when we overshot our time limit.
SST is expected back in Knysna in June 2013 to help nurture this seed for sea conservation.
View more about this day, through the eyes and ears of SST, at www.loveknysna.com/knysna-gives-ocean-conservation-hope.