Whangateau Harbour Care Newsletter 1/4

May 2017
5/23/2017
Edition 1 volume 4

Cockle survey at Lew’s Bay
Whangateau Harbour

Students from Auckland University work with Dr. Karen Tricklebank on the survey.

Students from Auckland University work with Dr. Karen Tricklebank on the survey.

On Saturday and Sunday May 13 and 14 a cockle survey was undertaken by Auckland University Students with Dr. Karen Tricklebank at Lew’s Bay in Whangateau Harbour. The annual survey has been undertaken since 2009 when there was a mass mortality in the harbour.
Cockles are ecologically important for water filtration, sediment stability, to provide surface settlement and as an important food resource for predators. There used to be 2000 cockles per sm and the annual harvest was around 28 tonnes. The mass mortality in 2009 resulted in a 70 per cent loss. Since then the population of harvestable cockles has not increased at all. The harbour is closed to harvesting of shellfish indefinitely.

Local Board to celebrate the work of community volunteers

Dr Roger Grace

Dr Roger Grace

The Rodney Local Board is hosting an awards ceremony and celebration to acknowledge volunteers from across the community in July 2017.
The local board sought nominations from local organisations of a person who has dedicated time to local initiatives for the past three years.
The Whangateau HarbourCare Group was pleased to nominate Dr Roger Grace who has devoted a great deal of time to develop a hydroponic plant propagation system, submit on the Hauraki Gulf Marine Spatial Plan and create an education programme on mangroves which was given as expert evidence to the Unitary Plan select committee.

Spray and walk away

Drain sprayed with chemicals

Drain sprayed with chemicals

Mowed drain

Mowed drain

Currently dairy farmers are getting a lot of flak for contaminated waterways and estuaries however, there are other sources of contamination which don’t receive the attention they deserve.
House construction, where there is insufficient or no silt control, poorly performing septic systems (currently being investigated in our catchment by Auckland Council), and Council and transport corridor managers’ practice of using toxic chemicals to spray water tables, road edges and culverts. This practice causes erosion and excess silt distribution. Additionally, silt is contaminated by the chemical use and road surface runoff and rubbish, all of which end up in our streams and estuaries.
The Whangateau Harbour Care Group would like to see Auckland Council cease this current practice and revert to mown drains allowing them to retain their grass cover. This practice would slow down erosion, filter silt and road surface run off, and remove the need for chemical use.

National marine and freshwater conference held at Te Kiri Marae Leigh

Citizen Science for marine and freshwater conservation action and education was the theme of the conference held in April at Te Kiri Marae, Leigh. It was a professional development and networking opportunity for all those involved or interested in freshwater and marine conservation.
The objective of the conference was to provide a forum for education for sustainability initiatives and projects around science communication. Also to discuss the effectiveness of existing and potential partnerships that foster action for marine and freshwater conservation and ensure strong delivery of the Experiencing Marine Reserves (EMR) and Whitebait Connection (WBC) concepts around New Zealand. Another objective was to raise the profile and value of citizen science during a workshop on what citizen science means for New Zealanders.

Dogs prohibited on Horseshoe Island

News 4

After discussions with Auckland Council it has definitely been established that no dogs are permitted on Horseshoe Island. If you see anyone with a dog approaching, or on the island please advise them of the rules which are supported by both Auckland Council by-laws and the Department of Conservation. Protection of breeding birds on the island is supported by members of the Harbour Care Group who regularly trap pests and remove the need for chemical use.

 


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If you have any news, notices or views of interest please contact the HarbourCare Group secretary,
Liz Allen by email: liz.allen18laika@gmail.com

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