Western Cape rain causes Kleinmond lagoon to burst into ocean after four years

Picture: Twitter/@MEGANHORAK

Picture: Twitter/@MEGANHORAK

On July 31, 2015 severe drought conditions stopped the Kleinmond lagoon from flowing into the Atlantic Ocean.

Now, exactly four years later, heavy rainfall in the region caused the dammed lagoon’s banks to burst, reconnecting it with the ocean on Wednesday.

Low rainfall in the region had caused the lagoon to dam up, affecting ocean life and even causing drownings.

“We were concerned,” Kleinmond ward councillor Grant Cohen told News24.

According to Cohen, the build-up of sand and silt in the lagoon caused deceptively deep pockets of water in the lagoon, resulting in three drownings during the four year period.

Tamzyn Zweig, environmental officer for the Overstrand municipality, says the new throughflow will result in a renewed ecosystem for the lagoon as genetic material from the ocean washes into the estuary’s ecosystem.

According to Zweig, attempts to reopen the lagoon artificially would have been unsuccessful.

“If you just come in with a bulldozer and there isn’t enough water, it will just trickle out,” she said. “The size of the swell, the tide, the moon phase and the amount of water, all of this worked together to do a proper job this time, which I am very pleased about,” Zweig said.

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