2018 WESSA Annual Review

WESSA Treasure Beach is located on Durban’s Bluff Peninsula. The centre is surrounded by protected coastal grass- land, dune coastal forest and the best rocky shore learning platform on the entire Southern African coastline. Not more than 20 minutes away, visitors can access wetlands, Durban Harbour, estu- arine habitats, mangroves, river lagoons, coral reefs, sandy shores and the histori- cal and socio-economic characteristics of Durban. Programmes offered here have been designed to include a visit to uShaka Marine World, The Natal Shark’s Board, Moses Mabhida Stadium and the numer- ous museums and cultural experiences available within the area. Our passionate marine team comprise of qualified ma- rine biologists, environmental scientists and teachers. They work together with Blue Flag Beach Stewards to make all pro- gramme offerings hands-on and practical. 2018 saw the launch of our new marine laboratory.. This, together with our new state-of-the-art technology and equip- ment provide the optimum learning envi- ronment for curriculum-based fieldwork and environmental education. Treasure Beach offer curriculum-based One Re- search Projects that meet all the require- ments for budding marine scientists. We have introduced statistical analysis into our programmes, which elevates the level of the research and prepares high school students for university. The Coastal Ge- ography Programme focuses on coastal management practices and engineering examples, of which there are so many in the Durban area. From dolosses to rip- rap, revetments, dredging, and the wid- ening of the Durban harbour mouth, we

research, analyse and measure specific coastal engineering examples, conduct beach profiles, long-shore drift, erosion and deposition experiments and sand particle analysis to relate the effect of human engineering on the natural ocean processes. With Durban’s coastline under threat, we expose our groups to specific marine processes and the engineering solutions used to deal with them. Geograhical Information Systems (GIS) Our mobile GIS technology gives us the opportunity to expose students to GIS ap- plications while analysing issues along the coast. Students can physically map out what they see and analyse their findings in a structured way. We design in-depth research projects looking at the histor- ical reasons for Durban’s spatial layout. We also study the Durban harbour and its economic significance for the area. From tourism activities through to histor- ical tours, we offer programmes that are aligned to the CAPS curriculum.. WESSA Treasure Beach is getting a facelift. We are improving all the facilities, increasing our accommodation and cater- ing offerings and ensuring that each field trip is accompanied by excellent food and a fun experience. WESSA Treasure Beach now offers the 3-year President’s Award Programme. We offer Bronze, Silver and Gold Journeys and a five-day Residential Project on-site. We have also very successfully run both the Phakama and ABCD programmes, and facilitated the related skills requirements too.


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