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Auckland no exception to state world environment

Auckland no exception to state of world environment ARC warns

1 April 2005

A damning report on the state of the world’s environment released this week highlights the need for continuing action to protect Auckland’s environment, according to the Auckland Regional Council.

The report, produced by 1300 scientists from 95 countries, found that two thirds of the world’s ecosystems studied by the scientists were severely degraded as a result of human activity.

ARC Environmental Management Chair Dianne Glenn says despite our clean, green image, Auckland is facing a similar pressure at the hands of exponential development and growth, with water quality and aquatic habitats suffering in particular.

“ARC State of the Environment reports show that many of the estuaries that lead to Auckland’s harbours are polluted to a level that makes fish and shellfish living in them unfit for human consumption,” Cr Glenn says.

Sediment build-up from land-clearing for development was also having severe impacts on Auckland’s waterways, turning once pristine stream and harbour-beds into mudflats.

Tamaki River, Mahurangi Harbour, and the upper Waitemata Harbour were all struggling to survive the effects of rapid growth and current land-use practices.

However, Cr Glenn stressed that if we all take responsibility for the health of Auckland’s environment it is not too late to mitigate environmental damage, but now is the time to act.

“The ARC has just created a new Stormwater Action Team dedicated to working in partnership with local councils and the community to help improve Auckland’s water quality,” she says.

“With the support of Aucklanders we have a real chance to ensure that we will still be able to gather seafood from our harbours, and swim and enjoy in them in the future, but if we sit back and do nothing, the past-times we have taken for granted will eventually be lost to us.”

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