The City of Cape Town will soon begin employing more eco-friendly methods to clean the local tidal pools to conserve the wealth of marine biodiversity that exists within them.
Local free diver Lisa Beasley, the founder of Cape Town Tidal Pools, has been spearheading this movement for years. In 2016, Beasley discovered that the False Bay tidal pool as well as many of the other tidal pools throughout the Mother City were being cleaned in methods that were environmentally degrading to marine biodiversity. Animals like sea slugs, anemones, sea hares, cuttlefish and iridescent seaweed all thrive in the tidal pools.
“For years, the City of Cape Town had been draining the pools, scraping seaweeds off the walls and then white-washing the sides with a mixture of chalk paint, chlorine and other chemicals. The creatures suffered – in fact, almost everything died,” reads the Cape Town Tidal Pools website.
After a year-long consultation process, a specialised high-powered hose was discovered as the solution. The hose blasts algae off the walls using seawater and doesn’t introduce any harmful chemicals into the pools. It is used every 28 days to coincide with the spring low to ensure new algae growth doesn’t build up. The walls are also coated in chalk paint made from environmentally-friendly limestone.
This solution has brought positive results. Now, the hose is used to clean the False Bay Pool as well as the St James, Dalebrook, Kalk Bay and Wooley’s pools. The marine ecosystem in these pools have been thriving ever since.
The City of Cape Town has committed to ensuring all tidal pools in the city are cleaned using these environmentally-friendly methods.
“Across the City we are working towards more environmentally sensitive practices and tidal pools have a wealth of marine biodiversity that resides within them,” said alderman Marian Nieuwoudt, the City’s mayoral committee member for spatial planning and environment.
Picture: Instagram / Cape Town Tidal Pools