Earth Day 2014 – Swartkops sunset

On 22 April (today if you read this post on the day it got posted) we celebrate Earth Day.  Earth Day is an annual event held worldwide to demonstrate support for environmental protection.  The day was first celebrated in 1970 with 192 countries now taking part each year.
In celebration of Earth Day 2014 I’m posting a picture of the Swartkops River taken by fellow Geocacher Emile Hallaby, or Speedbird315 as he is known in Geocaching circles, just after sunset from Bluewater Bay.  I’m posting the picture today for two reasons.  Firstly because it’s an absolutely stunning picture (I wish I took it myself) but secondly because it’s a picture of an area in desperate need of more environmental protection.  And here I’m quoting from the Zwartkops Conservancy website:
The Swartkops River is one of immense beauty and has significant enviromental importance. The origin and source of the river lies in the pristine area below the Cockscombe Mountain and the beautiful valleys and surrounding hills are seldom seen due to its inaccessibility.
It is only from below the Groendal Dam that we find the problems of pollution and alien infestation occuring.The river is heavily polluted by water which empties into the Swartkops River through storm water canals,(Motherwell Canal, Markman Canal, Chatty River and the upper reaches in Uitenhage) discharging raw sewerage and many tons of litter and waste from these sources. Pollution from industry and individuals contributes to pollution in the river.
There is growing resistance amongst local residents and the general public to the over exploitation of natural resources which threatens the fragile ecological balance and the sustainability of the river.

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