Strandloper Project Expedition 2021

Update posted by Mark Dixon On Sep 10, 2021

On our 2021 coastal research expedition hike, we will be expanding our surveys to include a series of micro surveys and drain infrastructure mapping.

Having reviewed our data from the 2019 and 2020 expeditions it was apparent that three key items had differing drift rates and distances in the ocean. The composition and density of cigarette butts, earbud shafts and plastic bottle tops drifted different distances from their point of entry into the ocean. By mapping their density more frequently we should be able to pinpoint which rivers and municipal infrastructure leaches the most plastic pollution into the ocean.

To compliment the micro surveys, we will also be mapping storm water drain outlets, effluent pump stations and any other structure which releases water into the ocean and compare the density of plastic pollution relative to each structure.

This additional data will allow us to inform municipalities of infrastructures that require filters and other forms of intervention to reduce the loss of plastic pollution into the ocean.

Follow our expedition progress on our social media between the 8th and 22nd October.

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Update posted by Mark Dixon On Aug 04, 2021

We are please to release our 2020 Expedition report.

While the reporting of the washed up nurdles between Storms River and Wilderness dominated our focus during the expedition, there were other valuable records that we made.

Washed up plastic was mostly from a land based origin which has flowed into the ocean via rivers after rainfall.

Commercial fishing debris accumulated in and around the Goukamma Nature Reserve and the highest density of Cape Clawless Otters was between Robberg Nature Reserve and Noetsie.

You can read the full report here : https://bit.ly/SPE20Report

We would like to extend a huge thank you to everyone that supported our 2020 expedition and look forward to the same support for our 2021 expedition which will begin on the 8th October.


Warm regards,

Mark Dixon

Research Leader

Strandloper Project

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Update posted by Mark Dixon On Jul 06, 2021

The Strandloper Project Team are champing at the bit for the 2021 coastal research expedition hike. This year we will be surveying the tail end of the section of the coastline along which the warm Agulhas Current flows towards the southern tip of Africa.

Desk top planning of the expedition projects the distance to be approximately 165km, but experience has taught us that the actual distance covered can be as much as 15% greater.

With the expedition taking us further away from home base and traversing some strategic keystone points along the coastline, there are some areas where we will have to transfer the research team. This extra planning will require two vehicles for the expedition.

We are also looking for a new member to join our research team.

We have set the expedition date and we will start hiking on the 8th October from Blombos, finishing on the 20th October at Suiderstrand.

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Update posted by Mark Dixon On Nov 02, 2020

Thank you for your support of the Strandloper Project Expedition 2020. In the month of October 2020 we managed to hike and survey the coastline from Storms River to Wilderness, a distance of 205km.

We managed to map the distribution of micro plastics and were the first team to report the recent nurdle spill which has washed up and polluted the southern Cape coastline.

With this data we will be able to assist in the clean up operations in the region.

Watch this space for our next project and how you can support the Strandloper Project.


Regards,

Mark Dixon

Project Manager

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Update posted by Mark Dixon On Oct 15, 2020

As Expedition 2020 leader, I am pleased to report that our merry band of Strandlopers arrived safely, albeit exhausted, in Wilderness on the 13th October, completing 156km of another valuable research trek. With the threats of choke points and geological barriers on sections of the route, we only had to take an emergency escape once in torrential rain as we approached the Knysna Heads. Otherwise our route was pretty much as we planned, missing out only a few sections of shoreline when we were forced to the cliff tops.

While we still have to download and analyse the data, from a casual observation, there was a discernible increase in domestic debris as we approached Knysna to some degree and then definitely as we approached Wilderness. The nurdle issue was continuous from Nature’s Valley to Wilderness, though along the rocky shores they were more difficult to find.

In terms of fauna, we had some interesting finds, namely 2 White-chinned Petrels, a Sub-Antarctic Fur Seal, and the carcass of a Kogia Species east of Noetsie.

Unfortunately, due to a combination of sea conditions and remote locations, we did not manage to conduct our anticipated dive surveys. From this experience, we have decided that in the future we will conduct a dive focused expedition instead of attempting to combine dive surveys with the shoreline surveys.

The success of the expedition was largely due to the enthusiasm of the team and the support that we received along the way and I would like to thank each and everyone who contributed to our success.

I will be preparing a number of reports in the coming weeks and will send you a copy. If there are any specific details that you require, please do not hesitate to ask.

We are planning a series of report back presentations which I will inform you of when we have established dates and venues.

Again, thank you for your support for our expedition.

Warm regards,


Mark Dixon

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I am so pleased to see the support that we have received, both financially and from local communities along the coastline that we will be hiking in October.

Mark Dixon

Update posted by Sep 10

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Anonymous

Backed with R400.00 On Oct 06, 2021

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Good luck with the great work from everyone at Networds.

Alexander Smith

Backed with R1000.00 On Sep 12, 2021

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D Leslie

Backed with R1000.00 On Sep 06, 2021

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Sarah Lokhat

Backed with R20000.00 On Sep 06, 2021

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Great project

Yvette Van Wijk

Backed with R500.00 On Oct 05, 2020

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You guys are amazing. When I'm big, I want to join you.

Ryan Francois

Backed with R1000.00 On Sep 13, 2020

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Mark Dixon

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