Curious Minds funds project
Wanaka Primary School and the Touchstone Project have begun a new investigation into the effects of stormwater pollution on Lake Wanaka water quality, in the hope they can protect a Bremner Bay wetland.
Touchstone mentor Chris Arbuckle confirmed its project, Down The Drains, had received Government funding of $17,363.60, all to be spent on sample analysis, materials, gear hire, and teacher relieving.
The funding comes from the Curious Minds participatory science fund established by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, Ministry of Education and Office of the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor.
‘‘Down The Drains will focus on providing a platform for the community to help design storm water mitigation wetlands at key sites along Bremner Bay. We aim to work as closely as possible with the Queenstown Lakes District Council as well,’’ Arbuckle said.
Pupils Jessie McNeil and William Schurink are among the dozens of Wanaka children who have been having fun with projects at Bremner Bay, Bullock Creek and Waterfall Creek.
‘‘We’ve been sampling water, looking at bugs, jumping off the wharf,’’ Jessie said.
‘‘We went over to Waterfall Creek and Bullock Creek and did some tests. Waterfall Creek was pretty pure,’’ William said.
‘‘We learned heaps about water and bugs and stuff and the fish,’’ Jessie said.
Down The Drains is being complemented by other water sampling initiatives in Roys Bay and around Ruby Island by the Wanaka Lake Swimmers Club.
Arbuckle noted there was strong public interest around stormwater and affects on Bullock Creek and the lake and the project last year had raised awareness.