Cu­ri­ous Minds funds project

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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.



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