Steven Weerts

Current job title: 
Research Group Leader, Senior Scientist
Institution(s) associated with the expert: 
Steven is a marine and estuarine ecologist. He has been employed directly in the broad field of marine and estuarine ecology, biomonitoring and water quality for 25 years. During that period he has undertaken both academic and applied research work as well as contract and consultancy projects ranging from local to regional scales.
Steven has worked extensively in coastal aquatic systems of South Africa, with a focus on subtropical systems including coastal plain rivers and lakes, all represented estuary types (temporarily open/closed, permanently open, river mouths and estuarine lakes), ports and marine continental shelves. He has also worked in Madagascar, Mozambique and the Seychelles. This work has been in the applied biophysical fields of water quality- and biological monitoring, ecological health, determination of freshwater requirements, assessment of impacts of development and pollutants, strategic environmental assessment, (pre)feasibility of development initiatives, design of environmental offsets and State of Environment reporting. Steven’s recent marine work has included involvement in- and project leading of ecological assessments and long-term programmes monitoring potential impacts of major national infrastructural developments in ports, large municipal and industrial deep-water outfalls and desalination works.
Work on the determination of freshwater requirements has covered rivers, coastal and estuarine lakes, and estuaries in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape. This has included the determination of water resource classes and ecological consequences on estuaries, as well as eco-specifications under various operational scenarios at scales of individual systems and within larger water management areas.
Steven has been involved in various national (South Africa) scale projects which have included State of the Coast Reporting (2005), the National Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from land-based Activities (2010) and the National Biodiversity Assessment (2011, 2018, Marine and Coastal Component, National Estuary Biodiversity Plan for South Africa). In 2012 he was part of the team which revised South African marine and coastal water quality guidelines for recreational use and he has served as a National Blue Flag jury member.
At a regional scale Steven CSIRs role as a Regional Activity Centre for the project “Addressing land-based activities in the Western Indian Ocean” (WIO-LaB), an initiative of the United Nations and Nairobi Convention between 2007 and 2010. He authored and co-authored several regional scale reports including the Status Report on Coastal and Marine Pollution from land-based activities in South Africa, the Regional Synthesis Report on the Status of Pollution in the Western Indian Ocean Region, and a Protocol for Long-term Monitoring of Marine Environmental Quality in the Western Indian Ocean.
Steven has also been involved in a United Nations initiative to develop capacity in port environmental management and marine water quality monitoring in the Abidjan Convention region. He maintains active international collaborations in the fields of environmental planning and management of port development and operations.
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