The artificial breaching of the mouth of Lake St Lucia’s estuary by the iSimangaliso Park Authority in January last year did not contravene the recommendations of its maintenance management plan (MMP).
But it did go against the recommendations of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), an expert panel that reviewed the scientific basis for the decision.
The estuary, South Africa’s largest, is in the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, a Unesco World Heritage Site and Ramsar Wetland of International Importance.
The report by the independent panel, which was released in April, stated that the breach did not appear to have a significant effect on the ecology. It was found that the circumstances necessitating a breach were largely undefined.