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Trust to grant around $100,000

24 December 2004

Ecological Trust to grant around $100,000 to Waikato organisations

The Waikato Catchment Ecological Enhancement Trust seeks funding applications for projects that enhance the ecology of the Lake Taupo-Waikato River catchment.

Nearly $100,000 was granted in its first funding round this year. The level of funding for the latest round has been increased. Submissions are open until 31 January 2005.

Trust Chairman Gordon Stephenson says the funds are available to assist organisations, agencies and individuals with projects that foster and enhance the sustainable management of ecological resources in the Lake Taupo and Waikato River catchments.

"We're seeking exciting and innovative projects that will make a real difference. We are specifically interested in funding projects that protect and enhance the region's wetlands. We see the highest priority wetlands being those in: the Waikato River delta, Meremere ecological district, Lake Ohakuri (particularly the Whirinaki arm), the upper Waikato River catchment, and lower reaches of streams flowing into Lake Taupo," says Gordon.

"However, we are also interested in funding ecological enhancement projects such as riparian fencing and planting, maintenance and enhancement of ecological connectivity, and plant and pest control."

Earlier this year, the trust distributed grants to eleven organisations throughout the Waikato Region, including: Eastern Fish & Game, Department of Conservation-Bay of Plenty, Cambridge Cluster of Children with Special Abilities, Waikato River Care, National Wetland Trust, Pukawa Wildlife Management Group, Reporoa College and others. Individual grants ranged from $1500 to $30,000.

Mr Stephenson said the Trust was made up of a wide range of Waikato organisations who have a close interest in the Lake Taupo-Waikato River catchment.

"Members of the Trust include representatives from Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society, Department of Conservation, Fish and Game New Zealand, Mighty River Power, and the Advisory Committee on the Regional Environment."

"We have access to the ecological information gathered by Mighty River Power during its extensive Waikato River consents process, together with
the knowledge and expertise held within the Trustee organisations. This information is available to assist groups with their enhancement projects," says Gordon.

To obtain an application form or further information about the Waikato Catchment Ecological Enhancement Trust, organisations should visit www.wceet.org.nz .

Some of the projects supported in the last funding round include:

* Fish and Game-Eastern - $30,000 to undertake assessment of opportunities to enhance the Hardcastles and Rawhiti Wetland areas near Reporoa.
* Waikato River Care - $15,000 to complete restoration of the Waikato riverbank with native plantings adjacent to Huntly College.
* The Department of Conservation-Bay of Plenty - $15,000 to remove wildling pines in a conservation stewardship area adjacent to Lake Ohakuri to encourage the regeneration of native species.
* Hakarimata Restoration Trust - $10,000 to help protect the natural character of the forest and streams of the Hakarimata Range.
* National Wetland Trust - $5000 to develop a brochure interpreting the features of New Zealand's first Wetland Heritage Trail around the Whangamarino Wetland and Lake Waikere.
* Reporoa College - $4500 to incorporate the Wharekaunga Stream into Reporoa College teaching programmes.
* Pukawa Wildlife Management Group - $2400 to purchase equipment and materials for predator control in the bush surrounding the town.
* The Cocks Wetland Society - $2000 to purchase equipment to control invasive weeds in the Cocks Wetland in Whangamarino.
* Cambridge Cluster of Children with Special Abilities - $2000 to advance environmental enhancement in the local community.


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