Our beach is a road and many people use it to drive to a destination then return. Unfortunately a few also spend time doing wheelies and donuts or taking their vehicles up into the dunes. Actions like that damage our beach, killing juvenile shellfish, increasing erosion and threatening birds and other wildlife.
The item below is in relation to Te Oneroa-a-Tohe (Ninety Mile Beach), but it has lessons for us too:
The major concerns … included the impact of vehicles on shellfish.
“Every toheroa and every tuatua begins its life as a minute juvenile in the upper tidal area of the beach, where they are at their most vulnerable to damage from vehicles,” he said.
“Vehicles driven in straight lines appear to do limited damage to these shellfish, but rapid accelerating, heavy braking, doing wheelies and donuts kill thousands, possibly millions. This damage is plain to see for anyone who cares to look.
“We have quotas on gathering shellfish to sustain species, but a thoughtless driver/rider can kill several lifetimes of entitlement in a few minutes.”
Dune erosion was another “very real and accelerating situation” that was hugely exacerbated by vehicles, while historic middens, “a view into our past,” had in places been reduced to dust, and nesting birds lived under constant threat from vehicles intruding into their areas.