Coast KZN

29 Jul 2015

A fresh start for La Mercy lagoon

Elana Geist (North Coast Courier)

Two people are walking through the empty lagoon between Umdloti and La Mercy.

The empty La Mercy lagoon shocked many residents this morning, but the reason for it is not as sinister as expected.

Instead of the usual sunrise glittering over the La Mercy lagoon, motorists were greeted by a few puddles and a lot of mud.

The reason for the empty lagoon was that the mouth opened and so all the water flowed into the sea.

According to Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife’s marine ecologist, Santosh Bachoo, the estuary needed to be breached.

“The estuary was closed for more than a year and after having the water tested, it was found that the water quality was not good,” said Bachoo.

He added that some of the infrastructure on the north bank of the lagoon was flooded, which was another reason to consider an artificial breach.

“We try to discourage artificial breaching, because we do not want to disturb the ecological cycle of the estuary. In this case, however, it was a good opportunity to let the tidal water in and flush the system.”

He said Ethekwini municipality was supposed to do the breach today, but then the lagoon breached naturally on Tuesday evening.

So, no one sucked out the water with a big machine and stole it, it was just nature taking its course!


The massive breached area is wide open, allowing the tidal water to flow into the estuary.


Online Article