African penguin release 27 December 2017

December 28, 2017 Dyer Island Conservation Trust

It is always an emotional moment when we send these iconic, ocean warriors back to the big blue. It is literally a process of;

Blood - They are feisty and scared when they are admitted, biting the hands that feed them is a natural response.
Sweat - Cleaning, cleaning and more scrubbing to keep the penguin hospital in tip-top shape for the penguin patients.
Tears - On the day we return them to the wide open blue space, we shed a tear, because we made a difference, we gave them a second chance.

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African Penguin and Seabird Sanctuary: First 5km Fun Run!

December 21, 2017 Dyer Island Conservation Trust

Ready, set, go! And the walkers and runners, dogs too, were off on the first 5km fun walk/run in aid of the African Penguin and Seabird Sanctuary (APSS)

Based in Gansbaai, the APSS is a critical seabird rehabilitation facility with a special focus on the endangered African penguin. APSS is a project of the Dyer Island Conservation Trust that has since 2006 been active in penguin conservation measures including a penguin nest project that replaces their natural burrows of guano. A history of guano removal for agricultural fertiliser has left the penguins exposed to the elements and predators and the nest or penguin ‘homes’ are critical to their breeding success.

This family friendly event held on the 21st December attracted just over a hundred participants. Although an untimed run, the first four men and women were recognised as was the first dog, Layla. Louw Burger was the first man to arrive with a time of 20min15. The next three were all juniors: 2nd Daniel Erasmus, 3rd Hanro Coetzee, 4th DeWet Nel. First lady, also a junior, was Suzaan van Vuuren, 2nd Jansie Smith, 3rd Talitha van Vuuren, 4th Nina Martin. Prizes included eco trips with Dyer Island Cruises and meals at the Great White House and some penguin scarves for the children. The event was kindly covered by Worcester radio bring a festive spirit to the morning.

The event held two objectives – critical fundraising and awareness of the African Penguin and its endangered status. Brenda du Toit, Public Relations, highlighted the fact that the penguins belong to all the community and that we can all play a part. As South Africa’s endemic species, the APSS strives to turn around their possible extinction by returning penguins they have saved from injuries, disease or pollution, back to their natural habitat where they can continue to breed. “As the first event, we did this on a small scale but we will make it an annual event on the calendar, and grow accordingly,” said Du Toit.  “CEO of the Dyer island Conservation Trust, Wilfred Chivell, was there to participate. This event was a long held dream for him to have as was the penguin sanctuary.”

Special thanks are extended to all participants and volunteers who gave of their time to make the morning a success. Special thanks to sponsors: Marine Dynamics; Dyer Island Cruises; Great White House; Worcester Radio; Gerhard van der Merwe who arranged financial contributions from Sterling Private Wealth, Kia Hermanus, Boxman and Hermanus Dental Practice and Gansbaai Tourism for loaning us some tables.

The APSS is open daily from 9am to 4pm with a 3pm feeding time. Coffee and curio shop onsite and entrance is free although donations are welcome.

 

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PRESS RELEASE: Volkswagen and Dyer Island Conservation Trust turn on the lights of Joburg’s first Lighthouse

December 04, 2017

To create awareness for the conservation efforts of the Dyer Island Conservation Trust, Volkswagen brought the ocean to Joburg and created the Dyer Island Inland Lighthouse – Joburg’s first lighthouse.

While lighthouses traditionally face out to sea, warning sailors of approaching land, Volkswagen created the Dyer Island Inland Lighthouse facing in the opposite direction to enlighten South Africans of the dangers of plastic waste to our oceans and its creatures.

The symbolic lighthouse was built using recycled plastic bottles, creating a spectacular light installation and went up in The Zone @Rosebank from 30 November until 3 December 2017. The purpose of the installation was to educate South Africans about the importance of conservation efforts focused on our fragile marine eco-system, just before Joburgers flock to the beaches for the Festive Season. Not only that, the lighthouse rewarded visitors who dropped plastic bottles or waste into the recycling bin by shining its lights brightly in gratitude.

The interactive installation also encouraged passers by to take a brave stand against plastic waste by taking a picture in the plastic-waste created Jellyfish Insta-booth and sharing these on social media as a commitment to our oceans. For those wanting to dive right in and support the cause - and take home a token - they could donate towards the trust at the craft table. Here local crafters turned trash into treasure by creating the marine icons of Dyer Island, like penguins and sharks, out of the very material putting their futures in danger. 

To spark conversation on social media, Volkswagen also asked South Africans to share their wishes for the world by using #VWWishForTheWorld. “Volkswagen’s wish for the world is to be at the forefront of creating a more sustainable future and we are humbled to work with passionate partners like the Dyer Island Conservation Trust who help us make this wish come true,” commented Meredith Kelly, Head of Marketing at Volkswagen South Africa, partners and supporters of Dyer Island and the ocean’s future.

The team from the Dyer Island Conservation Trust that attended included shark biologist Alison Towner, educator Pinkey Ngewu and Brenda du Toit. “This was an incredible opportunity to highlight our conservation work and draw attention to Gansbaai and our unique ecosystem. Marine pollution is top of mind at the moment especially with the current nurdle disaster - the plastic pellets that are washing up along the coastline after a spill in Durban. To be able to take this message inland is critical and we are grateful to Volkswagen for arranging this campaign. Over and above their considerable support to the Trust since 2011, Volkswagen donated R250 for every guest attending raising a further R15 000 and R3026 was raised by the donations towards the work of the local crafters,” added du Toit.

Individually we are one drop, together we are an ocean - Ryunosuke Satoro

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