At long last we can announce a Landcare Research project whose outcomes include actually making the water in our river cleaner. Our emphasis below.
Waikawa Stream gets grant to clean up waterway
Associate environment minister Eugenie Sage announced a Government grant to contribute to the Waikawa Stream community catchment project.
The Government has announced a $170,000 funding grant to improve the health of a Horowhenua waterway.
Associate environment minister Eugenie Sage announced the grant from the community environment fund to contribute to the Waikawa Stream community catchment project on Monday.
The Waikawa Stream is between Levin and Ōtaki.
Horizons Regional Council is contributing $45,000, Landcare Trust New Zealand $30,000 and landholders $15,000.
The Waikawa catchment stretches from the Tararua Range to the coast at Waikawa, north of Ōtaki.
It is a priority catchment in the Horizons’ planning document for the region.
“We want healthy rivers throughout New Zealand,” Sage said. “Agriculture in the catchment is adding pressure to an already vulnerable river, e coli levels in the lower catchment are high, and there is a risk of water quality continuing to decline unless change occurs.”
She said Landcare was working with the community and regional council to promote sustainable land use and improve the health of streams in the catchment.
“The project involves establishing three demonstration sites on Waikawa Stream by 2021 to highlight current good management practices for stock exclusion, erosion control and riparian planting.
“At the same time the Landcare Trust will work with several educational organisations to conduct stream monitoring and work with iwi and hapū to develop a strategy and action plan.
“This collaboration is bringing together different perspectives and uniting the community behind a common goal of a clean and healthy river.”
Land use on hill country in the catchment includes sheep-and-beef farming and forestry, lowland flats are used for horticulture and dairy farming, and there is grazing on the sandy country closer to the coast.
The 3-year project’s activities include things like:
- plant a minimum of 20,000 plants
- conduct stream monitoring
- riparian fencing
- exclude stock from streams
- erosion control
- public meetings and community participation
The Project is being led by Alastair Cole of Landcare Research. The steering group includes landowners, representatives from Beef and Lamb, Dairy, iwi, Horizons Regional Council and the Waikawa Beach Ratepayers Association.
We’ll bring you more details later.