This is an abstract of a paper by

Daniel Schroeder

Rhodes University, Faculty of Science, Geography, 2015

Coastal landscape change on the Cape St Francis / St Francis Bay peninsula from 1960 to 2014

A large proportion of the human population, their settlements and socioeconomic activities occur on land directly adjacent to the coastline. The increased demand for coastal leisure and tourism has interfered with natural landscape features and their associated processes. The Cape St Francis/St Francis Bay peninsula located on the southeast coast of South Africa was rapidly developed and transformed from a little fishing village into an urban coastal developed area over a 50-year period (1961-2014). A system that once existed in a state of dynamic or non-equilibrium was interfered with through anthropogenic disturbances, resulting in more frequent and intense natural events, which ranged from floods to debris flows, decreased sand supply and resulting beach erosion.

The aim of the project was to identify and map landscape features and changes on the peninsula using an interdisciplinary approach. The triangulated methods of a desktop study using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and media reviews, a crowdsourcing/participatory approach based on interviews, and a one year land surveying period of measurable field based surveys of physical features gave a well balanced view. The research showed that the natural landscape has been altered dramatically by settlement and associated infrastructure development. In particular, the loss of dunefields and the artificial modification of river paths were major impact areas. Beach erosion is a continual issue for the peninsula residents, particularly in St Francis Bay.

The full document can be read on St Francis Bay Kromme Trust page on this website