Launch of the Cape Whale Coast Hope Spot

Walker Bay by Anina Lee is included in the book South African Coasts to be launched in Hermanus on 6 December

The biggest event in December is the launch of the CWC Hope Spot with events in the Overstrand at different venues on the 5th, 6th and 7th of December 2014. Come and join Whale Coast Conservation and be part of the celebrations.

WCC has organised a special event for children (by invitation only) at the Stony Point Penguin colony in Betty’s Bay on Friday the 5th. On Saturday the 6th the show moves to Hermanus where the hub of activity will be the Old Harbour.

Dr Sylvia Earle will unveil an underwater plaque to officially launch the Cape Whale Coast Hope Spot, the first in South Africa. This event will be streamed live to the Eco-Marine Village marquee above the harbour.

WCC will feature prominently in the marquee. Our exhibits will illustrate the contribution of citizen science in gathering scientific data that informs the management of important natural areas like our Whale Coast.

The Eco-Marine Village will remain open on Sunday morning. There will be many exhibits relating to the theme ‘catchment to coast’ in celebration of our amazing natural assets.

BE PART OF THE HOPE ON DECEMBER 6TH …& BEYOND

In addition to the WCC exhibits illustrating citizen science projects, we will also demonstrate the innovative technology of the Wave Energy Converter presently under construction at the New Harbour. The South African Coasts book will be for sale; there will be a photographic exhibition and a super photo-walk competition; an abalone demonstration tank; a display of wild flowers from Fernkloof Nature Reserve as well as information about sustainable harvesting; sustainable farming and eco-tourism; and the Whale Crier will be on hand to add his support.

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There will be many children’s activities too. Stripes, the Eco-Cat, has written special marine-related stories for the children who come to be part of the hope. Hanli Prinsloo, champion free diver, will take children diving in the harbour. The SA Shark Conservancy is planning a fossil tooth hunt and pledges by handprints. Or children can have their faces painted.

On Sunday the 7th Dr Earle will proceed to Kleinbaai where she will be hosted by Dyer Island Conservation Trust, and more activities are planned.

WHAT IS A HOPE SPOT?

Dr Earle created the idea of Hope Spots in 2009 through the ocean community hub Mission Blue. The aim is to ignite public support for a global network of special marine management areas that are critical to the health of the oceans and our planet. Networks of Hope Spots throughout the world will maintain biodiversity, provide a carbon sink, generate life-giving oxygen, preserve critical habitat and allow low-impact activities like ecotourism to thrive. This is good for the ocean, which means it is good for us.

The overarching objective of the Cape Whale Coast Hope Spot event is to launch our Hope Spot in the international arena, adding the Overstrand to the list of existing global Hope Spots.

HOPE FOR PEOPLE AND OUR OCEAN

Our local communities are dependent on healthy oceans for their livelihood, recreational activities and tourism ventures. With this in mind, the CWC-HS long-term aim is to focus on education related to coastal issues, improved eco-friendly and informed tourism and to create a community that will strive to protect the coastline on which we and the future of our children are so dependent. It is necessary to develop a culture of accountability and shared responsibility for this wondrous place we call “Home”. Promoting this changing culture is a priority goal in the CWCHS.

The South African Hope Spot initiative is being led by the Sustainable Seas Trust (SST); the CWC-HS is managed by a local organising committee and hosted by the Overstrand Municipality.