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Who We Are

Knysna Basin Project is a scientifically based non-profit organisation focused on continued research in the Knysna Basin >>

Community Engagement

Knysna Basin Project aims to create and stimulate public and learner awareness and appreciation of the estuary >>

Public Involvement

Be part of an organization dedicated to the wellbeing of the Knysna Estuary, become a member of the Knysna Basin Project >>

How Are Surveys Carried Out?

The surveys are very simple and easy to learn, take about 2 hours to complete and carried out at three levels:
  • Firstly – a walkabout on the shore noting everything that is present to build up an overall picture of all the creatures and plants that are there.
  • Secondly – transects across each habitat zone, e.g., rock, sand, eelgrass. We lay a line between low and high tide marks and record everything seen for 2 meters on either side or their frequency.
  • Thirdly – we take a quarter meter square quadrat and count everything found in it at each different biome along the transect.
  • Participants are provided with species lists and illustrated guides.  

How Do I Get Involved?

You do not need to have any knowledge of marine life before taking part in a ShoreSearch survey as there will be experts on hand to help with identification, and you will gain marine biological knowledge of the habitats and species that live on the Estuary’s shores and contribute to building up a picture of the Estuary.
If you want to join our group of ShoreSearchers contact Frances Smith at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and she will put you on a mailing list to receive information on survey dates and places. 

Current Research

The current programme comprises an extensive range of studies by Knysna Basin Project staff and volunteers and researchers from universities in South Africa and overseas.

Projects include the Knysna seahorse project, ShoreSearch as described above, the eelgrass project – an intensive study programme carried out by Dr Richard Barnes from Cambridge University on the biodiversity of the sub-surface layer of the eelgrass beds with 5 or more papers published or in publication, studies carried out by Dr Alan Hodgson and students from Rhodes University into the truncated mangrove snail recently arrived in the Estuary and into the invasive Mediterranean mussel to name but two, Dr Allanson’s study of the endangered false limpet, Siphonaria compressa, the topically very important investigation into the recent invasion of sea lettuce (Ulva lactuca) – a joint project with the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth, Project KEMP which is monitoring the quality of water in the estuary through fixed data recording stations and a survey of baiting practices being undertaken by Dr Carol Simon and Alheit Du Toit from Stellenbosch University.

ShoreSearch Bollard Bay and Knysna Heads


Thesen Island Home Owners Association Barloworld Rhodes University
Knysna Marathon Club