During the school year, the NVT works with a number of schools who “adopt” a river close to their school. This programme entails a number of lessons on how river systems work and the importance of keeping them clean.

Three schools participate in this programme: The Crags Primary, Greenwood Bay College and Formosa Primary. The adopt-a-river programme highlights the importance of river and water management, focusing on the Bitou municipal area. Using the schools version of the South African Scoring System (SASS5) for measuring river health, learners monitor the health of four river systems around Plettenberg Bay.

The MiniSASS tool requires the kids to look at macro-invertebrates in the river system to derive a SASS score. A SASS score indicates the health of the river system and the quality of the water, giving an indication of possible disturbances of and/or modification to the river system. On the other hand, a SASS score can also indicate a healthy, undeterred river system.

The derived SASS scores are discussed at length after each session and, where feasible, are subjected to further investigation.

Adopt a river2