136km of wa­ter­ways pro­tected over past year

Te Puke Times - - NEWS -

More than 136 kilo­me­tres of Bay of Plenty wa­ter­way mar­gins have been pro­tected from stock ac­cess in the past year through ri­par­ian man­age­ment part­ner­ships between pri­vate landown­ers and the Bay of Plenty Re­gional Coun­cil.

“Ri­par­ian man­age­ment pro­grammes are just one of many tools we’re us­ing to pro­tect and im­prove lo­cal wa­ter qual­ity and river health. We had an an­nual tar­get of 101 kilo­me­tres of wa­ter­way mar­gin pro­tec­tion for the 2017/18 year and it’s great to have ex­ceeded that,” said re­gional coun­cil in­te­grated catch­ments man­ager Chris In­gle.

“The ex­tra gains have mainly been in the Ran­gita¯iki, East­ern Bay and Kaituna catch­ments where they were needed most,” he said.

World Rivers Day, which was held on Sun­day, high­lights the im­por­tance of car­ing for the world’s wa­ter­ways.

Mr In­gle said ev­ery­one has a role to play. “Re­gional coun­cil of­fers prac­ti­cal ad­vice, as­sis­tance and fund­ing sub­si­dies of up to 50 per cent through its ri­par­ian man­age­ment pro­grammes, to en­cour­age prop­erty own­ers to make changes on their land that will im­prove wa­ter qual­ity.

“Our other river care work in­cludes man­age­ment of fresh­wa­ter pests such as salvinia (an in­va­sive aquatic weed), proac­tive pol­lu­tion risk au­dits, and sev­eral large-scale wet­land restora­tion projects that will also help to im­prove wa­ter qual­ity and wildlife habi­tat.

“We’ve also set new tar­gets for im­prov­ing swimma­bil­ity in some of the re­gion’s most pop­u­lar but trou­bled swim­ming spots, in­clud­ing Ka­iate Falls and Ngongo­taha¯ Stream, this year.

“All the best prac­tice meth­ods for re­duc­ing E. coli bac­te­ria lev­els in those places have al­ready been tried, so we’re bring­ing in spe­cial­ist ex­per­tise and ex­plor­ing in­no­va­tive new so­lu­tions to bring those lo­ca­tions up to swimmable stan­dards,” Mr In­gle said.

■ Fur­ther in­for­ma­tion is avail­able at www.bo­prc.govt.nz/ fresh­wa­ter­futures

PHOTO / SUP­PLIED

Ka­iate Stream is one of the many Bay of Plenty wa­ter­ways the re­gional coun­cil is work­ing to pro­tect and im­prove.

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