City reply to cleaning quandry

Bolander sent Ryan G Edmonds’ letter (“Beach cleaning quandry”, Bolander letters, June 13) to the City of Cape Town asking for comment.

mayoral committee member for area north Suzette Little, responded:

City staff know not to remove sand from the beaches and it is doubtful that they would have filled 26+ bags with sand and shells.

It could be possible that bags containing sweepings from the stormwater channel running along Beach Road included sand, litter, shells and pebbles, and this gave the resident the wrong impression.

Cape Town’s beaches are naturally dynamic systems that demonstrate high degrees of variation in beach width and height throughout the year.

This variation is a naturally occurring cycle linked to wind regimes and wave climate which change according to Cape Town’s seasons.

Generally speaking, beach levels in Cape Town drop and erode in winter but are built up again in the summer.

The beaches in the Strand are subject to the same naturally occurring seasonal cycle.

The City is aware of predicted impacts of climate change and sea-level rise as pressures to contend with and has a number of strategies in place to cope with such pressures.

One such strategy is the City’s stance of ensuring an ecosystems-based approach for the retention of sand on our beaches.

For example, the City advocates that, through its kelp cleansing protocol, as much kelp is left on the beach as possible.

Kelp plays a vital role in not only trapping wind-blown sand and thus helping to elevate beach levels, but kelp left on the City’s beaches also helps to reduce the energy of storm surges, and thus the erosive potential of these surges is reduced.