Discovering tomorrow

Institute for Coastal and Marine Research

Environmental Impact Assessments and Independent Reviews

EIAs The CMR has successfully conducted EIAs for a range of proposed activities, and additionally provides independent reviews of EIAs, as well as specialist input for EIAs. Previous work has included EIAs on infrastructure, housing and small-craft harbour construction, land re-zoning, sand by-pass schemes, and coastal management interventions such as groyne construction to combat coastal erosion.

 

Water Quality and Aquatic Pollution Assessment

Water quality The CMR has access to well-equipped laboratories that permit assessment of the quality and pollution status of fresh, estuarine and marine waters, as well as sediment and biological tissue, including work in many of the national ports. Expertise in the field of estuarine and marine surficial sediment pollution is particularly well developed, and several large contracts have been undertaken in this respect.

 

Development of Environmental Management Programmes and Rehabilitation Plans

Dune rehabilitation The CMR has developed environmental management programmes and rehabilitation plans for a diverse range of habitats, including mined land, dune fields and estuaries. The emphasis is on realistically achievable mechanisms that will limit or exclude environmental impacts, and the rehabilitation of previously disturbed areas.

 

Integrated Coastal Zone Management

ICZM Part of the CMR's legacy is strong expertise and experience in coastal zone processes, particularly in terms of sandy beaches and estuaries. Projects undertaken in this aspect range from applied research to the development of environmental management plans for local planning authorities, with key focus on proactive mitigation and amelioration of the impacts posed jointly by global climate change and the extensive habitat transformation/land-use change in the coastal zone.

 

Systematic Conservation/Biodiversity Planning, Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning, and Natural-Resource Use Management

SCP Spatial planning is one of the emerging strengths of the CMR, both in terms of systematic conservation and biodiversity planning and ecosystem-based marine and coastal spatial planning. Our expertise includes (among others) proficiency in C-Plan, Marxan and Marxan with Zones, and interfacing site-prioritization outputs with GIS platforms such as ArcGIS™ and statistical programmes such as R. 

 

Coastal and Marine Biomonitoring

Biomonitoring Our intimate knowledge of terrestrial and aquatic environments in southern Africa also enables us to accept biological monitoring contracts. One example is an extensive marine baseline-monitoring programme in the vicinity of the Coega deepwater port development.

 

Environmental Education and Training

Environmental Education A number of environmental education and training programmes have been developed for and presented to a diverse range of clients. This work ranges from the development of manuals describing the ecological and physical functioning of estuaries and sandy shorelines, to environmental awareness and ISO 14000 training programmes for industrial clients.

 

Spatial Analyses in Geographical Information Systems (GIS)

Coastal habitats of SA

The CMR is well equipped to handle requests for ambitious mapping and spatial-data analysis using modern GIS software. Many of our previous contract work has been spatially explicit, and required maps to support land re-zoning, and environmental impact assessments and proposed rehabilitation plans. Past research relying on GIS has included habitat mapping; species distribution modelling; animal movement behaviour and home range determination of satellite-tracked animals; and spatial quantification of cumulative threats to ecosystems.

 

Research/Commercial Diving

RDU Diver The CMR houses NMMU’s Research Diving Unit (RDU). Interested candidates are trained and certified as commercial/scientific divers through the RDU, and are registered with the Department of Labour. The dive team is experienced in the use of a wide range of underwater tools, with work undertaken including: biomonitoring; mariculture support; satellite tagging marine turtles; research on reefs and sharks; and even production of a television series. More information can be found on the RDU home page.