Dead mangroves and oily scum reminder of spill
An oil spill 18 months ago could still be causing problems at a Te Papapa stream.
Cyclist David Sier raised concerns about the waterway after noticing mangroves dying along the streambed.
The small tidal creek runs through an industrial area and out to the Manukau Harbour.
Mr Sier cycles past every day on his way to work in Penrose and became worried about the dying trees.
“When you look back at the streambed from the walkway you’ve got quite a graphic display,” he says.
“For five to 10 feet either side of the stream all you’ve got are dead mangrove trees.”
An oily scum can be seen on the surface of the water and a black soot coats the nearby walkway.
Auckland Regional Council’s pollution team says the mangroves might still be dying as a result of a linseed oil spill in February last year.
“It’s possible the oil has been absorbed by the mangroves and there may still be an ongoing effect,” says pollution response manager Nigel Clarke.
The appearance could also be the result of a natural dieback, he says.
But the black dust coating, which appeared more recently on nearby vegetation and pathways, is cause for concern.
Compliance air quality manager Gareth Noble says the dust has been caused by unprocessed compost at a neighbouring site.
The company responsible has been spoken to and will have the compost cleaned up within three weeks.
Mr Noble says moving the stockpile will only create more dust.
The dust is unlikely to harm fish or plants.
Murky water: David Sier is worried about the state of a Te Papapa stream where mangroves have died.