Estuary Management

The Western Cape State of the Environment Outlook Report (draft 2013) makes the following statement about the province’s estuaries: “Estuarine environments are of concern.  Typically Western Cape estuaries are highly modified, and characterised by poor health and low levels of protection, except in the Eden District.  This is concerning considering that all Western Cape estuaries are considered to be critically endangered ecosystems.”


The Overberg region has a number of estuaries that are of national importance from ecosystems biodiversity and economic perspectives, the Breede, Klien and Bot river estuaries ranking within the top 10, making it imperative that effective management practices are instituted for at least these.


The Integrated Coastal Management Act  requires estuary management plans to be drawn up and implemented in accordance with a national estuary management protocol (NEMP). Prior to the publication of the NEMP in 2013, estuary management plans were drafted for the estuaries of the Breede River, Heuningnes River, Klein River, Bot River and Uilkraals River.  A situation assessment was also drafted in the first six months of 2013 for the Onrus River Estuary, but the municipality has not released this to the public.  Estuary Forums have been set up for all of these estuaries for which draft EMPs have been written.


Effective management of the estuaries is frustrated by, what the Western Cape State of the Environment Outlook Report aptly refers to as, “mandate paralysis.”


Documents relevant to the management of estuaries in the Overberg region can be accessed in this section of the website.


Taking Care of Catchments & Water Reserves

National Estuarine Management Protocol

National Biodiversity Assessment 2011 – Estuarine Component

Ecological Water Requirements for Estuaries – Methods for the Determination of (Turpie, taljaard, Adams, van Niekerk, Forbes, Clark)

Recreational Water Quality Standrads Guideline – Department of Environmental Affairs  2012

Estuarine Water Quality Monitoring Protocol Outline  (Sue Matthews 2010)

Overstrand Estuary Health Monitoring Protocol – 2011



Management Plans

Situation Assessment

Situation Assessment Appendices

Situation Assessment Comments Report

Draft Estuary Management Plan

Mouth Management Plan & DEA&PD Approval


Reports & Publications

Post Breaching Report – 2012

Post Breaching Report – 2013

Estuaries of the Cape Report – Bot Kleinmond System (CSIR 1982)

River Health Programme 2006 – Extract

Bot River Hydrodynamics (van Niekerk et al 2005)

Bot River Estuary: Should we Interfere? (Bally and Branch 1986)

Important Bird Area Fact Sheet -Bot River Estuary (Birdlife International 2009)

Transactions of the Royal Society (Various authors 1985)



Management Plans 

Situation Assessment

Situation Assessment Appendices

Draft Estuary Management Plan

Revised Estuary Management Plan

EMP Comments Report

Mouth Management Plan & DEA&DP Approval – 2011

Mouth Management Plan  & DEA&DP Approval – 2013


Reports and Publications

Post Breaching Report – September 2011

Estuaries of the Cape – Klein – CSIR 1989

River Health Programme – 2006

Waterbirds of the Klien River Estuary (Harebottle 2009)          

Water Quality in the Klien River Estuary (Hamilton Attwell)

Klein River Estuary: Modelling Estuary Breaching (Beck & Basson 2008)

Physico-Chemical Conditions in Kleinriviersvlei (Coetzee & Pool 1986)

The Klein River Estuary (Scott et al 1952)

Other reports on the Klien River Estuary that are not available in digital form



Management Plans

Situation Assessment

Draft Estuary Management Plan

Draft Mouth Management Plan 


Reports & Publications

Estuaries of the Cape – Uilkraals (CSIR 1982)

Bloodworm in the Uilkraal (Gaigher 1984)

Uilkraals Saltmarshes (Mucina et al 2003)

River Health Programme 2006 (Extract)

Sediment Redistribution in the Uilkraals Estuary as a Consequence of Human Disturbance (Crowther 1988, MSc Thesis – not in digital form)