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ARC establishes community grants fund for coast


ARC establishes community grants fund for coast

The Auckland Regional Council today took the first step towards establishing a contestable community grants fund to allocate coastal revenue to coast-care projects.

The fund will be created as part of a landmark ARC decision to dedicate all funds generated from seabed licences to the sustainable management of the coastal marine area.

“Money generated from the coast should be put back into looking after the coast,” said Environmental Management committee chairperson, Brian Smith.

“This is advocated by the Resource Management Act and the ARC is fully behind this principle. It makes sense and it’s fair that those who have paid us coastal fees will see the benefit back to the coastal area.”

The ARC has received $900,000 from the Half Moon Bay Marina seabed licence back-fees following a Privy Council decision which found that the ARC was entitled to receive this revenue. The ARC’s Environmental Management committee today recommended that the money be allocated over three years to projects that benefit the coast. The ARC will consider these recommendations on 16 December.

The ARC Environmental Management committee recommended that $50,000 go to a community grants fund for the first year, and determined that applications will be called for by 1 March 2003. The fund will be linked to the ARC’s Environmental Initiatives Fund.

“We will be looking for applications from all kinds of groups to use the funds to benefit the coast, including coastal recreation and user groups, iwi, and people with environmental and safety concerns,” said Cr Smith.

“I am very happy to announce the creation of this fund, which will greatly enhance the ability of the community to practically care for the coastal marine area.”

The committee agreed that the rest of the revenue will go into new ARC coastal initiatives and into existing sustainable coastal management programmes run by the ARC, many of which will have direct benefit for local coastal users by improving water quality and safety.

Councillors will formally consider a list of coastal care projects in December, to be actioned this summer.

The proposed list of projects for the first year’s allocation are:

Part-fund a public sewage pump out facility at Half Moon Bay Marina ($30,000) improve stormwater quality practices at marinas, by developing guidelines for the marina industry and implementing them ($60,000) Contestable community grants fund ($50,000) Promote water safety, e.g. through Coastguard Education and Water Safe Auckland ($60,000) Contribute to Coastguard “nowcasting” marine information service, adding the ability for near to real time wave state information ($25,000) Investigate the demand for coastal environmental education centres ($15,000) Clean up unauthorised structures around the foreshore of Tamaki River and eastern beaches ($20,000) Better co-ordinate water safety and public access messages and notices, including improving water safety signage at key access points ($35,000).

“Everyone who uses and enjoys the coastal marine area will benefit from the ARC dedicating coastal funds to the coast,” said Cr Smith.

The funds will go towards promoting sustainable management of the coastal marine area by: improving water quality, better navigating and water safety, improving public access, improving scientific knowledge of coastal trends, better marine biodiversity support, better protection of natural character, and promotion of appropriate use.

The Environmental Management committee also established guidelines that ensure that the funds do not substitute for funding provided by central or local government sources, and that ensure that the funds provide a fair, equitable and transparent spread of benefits throughout the Auckland region.


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