2005 Salt Lake City Annual Meeting (October 16–19, 2005)

Paper No. 12
Presentation Time: 11:20 AM


GREENBERG, Jeffrey K.1, SEEBACH, Rudi2, LUHMANN, Andrew J.1, ZYLSTRA, Deborah J.1 and WENTZ, Jedidiah S.1, (1)Geology, Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL 60187, (2)Environmental Sciences, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, Eastern Cape, South Africa, jeffrey.k.greenberg@wheaton.edu

The Cape Province resort town of Jeffrey's Bay is immediately adjacent to the impoverished community of Pellsrus. Local geology and horrific living conditions merge to generate a significant focusing of pollution onto the famous beach strand and into coastal waters. Regional bedrock consists of low-grade Paleozoic slates and quartzites of the Cape Fold Belt. These units mostly plunge south toward the sea and are overlain by Miocene coastal terrace deposits, followed by sandy colluvium.

An effort to greatly diminish the contamination involves research via a GIS watershed analysis with estimations of waste influx. Periods of storms and high-precipitation tend to send pulses of noxious effluent from the community, down flow gradient to the coast. As results of the study, practical initiatives for improvement of conditions include, a) restoration of a major wetland drainageway with flow-interception structures and establishment of a sustainable botanical ecocommunity, b) a proposed solid-waste management plan for the surrounding municipality, and c) household sanitation-gardening partnerships utilizing composting/urine-diversion toilets and gray-water irrigation practices. In addition, illustrative materials for community children and adults have been produced with the goal of environmental education. Development initiatives without community ownership are doomed to failure. The overall project may be seen as an example of applying geoscientific expertise in the service of the needy.