For nearly 25 years, the core business of the Treasure Beach Centre has been the environmental education courses offered largely to school groups. These courses provide a unique opportunity for participants to experience firsthand a variety of natural environments.
The courses allow the participants to interact with nature through a variety of activities and methods. Through a hands‐on experience the participants ‘learn by doing’, they are involved in the learning experience, thereby ensuring they understand and can take action for a sustainable future.
The following standard courses are offered:
- Rocky Shores
- Forest and Wetlands
- Geomorphology/Sandy Shores and Grasslands
Courses are of a 4‐hour duration and take place in and around Durban. All the courses are grade specific and link to the curriculum. We can accommodate groups of up to 120 participants, who are then split into smaller working groups with the supervision of our trained guides.
ROCKY SHORE STUDY
Explore the rock pools along Treasure Beach while discovering and identifying the marine species. During the course the participants study the eco‐system looking at such things as species adaptation, habitat destruction, marine pollution and conserving marine resources. The younger ones love meeting “Spongebob Squarepants” in real life and getting a hermit crab to walk on your hands is also a real treat. The Rocky Shore study is always an unforgettable experience and the lucky ones might even be able to spot an octopus.
The mangrove study takes place at either the Beachwood Mangroves, opposite Blue Lagoon or the Harbour Mangroves. Both are protected sites and both provide a unique experience. During the mangrove study the participants will investigate the factors leading to pollution, impacts and solutions, soil structure, adaptations, symbiotic relationships and species identification.
The Beachwood Mangroves are managed by Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife and is situated along the Umgeni Estuary. Walking through these magical mangroves swamps one nearly forgets that you are in the middle of the bustling city of Durban. Here we walk through the white, black and red mangrove trees discovering the fiddler crabs, mudskippers and red mangrove crabs. The walk ends on the beach.
The Harbour Mangroves have been declared a Natural Heritage Site and is one of the last remaining Mangrove habitats in the Durban Bay. The Durban port is the largest container terminal in the southern hemisphere, making the location of this mangrove ecosystem evermore unique. Due to its locality, there are extremely high levels of water pollution and litter, yet the mangroves still survive showing the resilience of nature.
FOREST AND WETLAND STUDY
At the Bluff Nature Reserve, one finds both a forest and wetland ecosystem. This is the ideal site to study two ecosystems at one location. The course covers topics such as habitat protection, deforestation and climate change, alien and indigenous vegetation, traditional use of plants, water studies, species adaptation and importance of wetlands.
GEOMORPHOLOGY / SANDY SHORE STUDY
The first impression of a sandy beach is that it is barren and supports little life. During the sandy shore study, we uncover the hidden identity of a sandy beach. Studying the Geomorphology of the beach and the area, the participants look at such things as wave action, tides, longshore drift, sand grain analysis, dune ecology people use and litter and pollution.
In front of the WESSA: Treasure Beach property is one of the last remnants of coastal grassland on the east coast. During the grassland study, participants get an opportunity to experience this one of a kind ecosystem. The concepts covered include identifying grassland vegetation and coastal vegetation, the importance and uses of grasslands, threats to grasslands and the importance of burning grasslands as a management strategy.