This past week Umvoto attended the first Overstrand Environmental Conference. Various individuals and organisations were invited by the conference organisers to present on the environmental dynamics of the Overstrand area. Dylan Blake, Umvoto’s Principal Geologist, presented on the hydrogeology of the greater Hermanus area, where Umvoto has been developing the groundwater supply system for the Overstrand Local Municipality for over 20 years. The other talks included the history of the Hemel en Aarde Valley, the state of the Onrus peatland and Onrus estuary, and biodiversity in the Hemel en Aarde Valley amongst others.
A few days later, a field trip took place as an extension of the conference. As part of this field trip the group looked at the Onrus River from catchment to coast. They visited different points along the river and discussed how they have changed over the years. As part of this, one of Umvoto’s employees, Rebecca Stephenson, spoke about her study area for her Master’s degree, which she is busy completing. More specifically, she spoke about the vulnerable state of the Onrus peatland. This also included talks from individuals representing CapeNature, Whale Coast Conservation, the Agricultural Research Council, Camphill Farm Community, and other institutions.
To find out more about the work that we do with the Overstrand Local Municipality, click here.