Tide comes in for City ocean pools

The City of Cape Town’s Recreation and Parks Department has started active maintenance of the 22 tidal pools along the coastline, in preparation for the influx of visitors during the summer season.

Tidal pools are important infrastructure as they allow beachgoers to enjoy the coastline and safe swimming in the ocean. Cape Town’s tidal pools have a rich history, with some being constructed as early as 1903.

‘Cape Town’s tidal pools are not only pleasing to look at, but they also hold a very dear place in the hearts of locals and visitors. Many a local can recount countless visits to their favourite tidal pool, and we want to ensure that these facilities are in tip top shape to help build wonderful memories for generations to come.

‘The City is striving to manage tidal pools as more natural ecosystems, rather than artificial pools. Previously, some methods of cleaning tidal pools were deemed harmful to the species living in the pool and as such, many of the pools are now managed in a more environmentally and species friendly manner,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Health, Councillor Patricia van der Ross.

The biodiversity of tidal pools can be rich and supportive of life cycles. A recent study (2020) found 48 different species in Camps Bay tidal pool, including starfish, invertebrates, shelled species and seaweeds.

Tidal pools provide a unique opportunity to see the wondrous underwater world and creatures as they are calm-watered, safe spaces in which to snorkel.

The pools are maintained by the Recreation and Parks department whose environmentally-friendly cleaning process includes emptying the pool in certain instances, scrubbing only the tops of walls, cleaning the walls using a specialised high-pressure hosepipe and clearing it of litter and algae.

Beach managers maintain a close eye on the tidal pools to ensure their standards are upheld and safe for the public.

The City’s Camps Bay and Milton tidal pools recently claimed two of 14 places on the CN Traveller’s list of the 14 prettiest ocean pools in the world.

Milton tidal pool is important as there are few safe spaces to swim along the Sea Point rocky shore from Bantry Bay to Granger Bay and Camps Bay tidal pool has flourished recently with the increased popularity of cold water submersion.

‘The water-quality of tidal pools within the City is monitored constantly and those at or near Blue Flag Beaches have their water quality monitored independently,’ added Councillor van der Ross.

Caption 1: At the Camps Bay tidal pool are from left Tamara Josephs, Councillor Patricia Van Der Ross, Elena Piller, and Mario Sickle.

Caption 2: The Milton Beach tidal pool.

Source: City Of Cape Town