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Environment Bay of Plenty committed to Estuary





Environment Bay of Plenty committed to Estuary Care groups

For immediate release: Friday 4 April 2008

The possibility of using machines to remove mangroves has taken another step forward following the successful second stage of a trial into different mangrove removal.

Environment Bay of Plenty chief executive Bill Bayfield says the trial began two weeks ago with a gang of contractors using scrub bars to remove mangroves, before moving onto testing mechanical methods in Te Puna on Wednesday.

“It’s important for the community to know that we’re committed to our Estuary Care programme and while we might not be able to act as fast as some members of the community would like us to on mangrove management, we’re definitely busy.”

He said just recently the organisation had signed off on an Estuary Care Action Plan, which outlines the ways the regional council will better support the Estuary Care groups.

“This plan takes the whole project and gives us direction for all aspects of it – from communication with our groups to the areas where mangroves can be managed. It also covers research, action on the ground and a look into better removal techniques.”

The plan was developed following a recent prosecution case and the appointment of a new Land Resource Manager (Western), Robyn Skelton.

“As well as the plan giving us direction, as a new manager who has many great links with the Western Bay community Robyn has taken on the challenge to reshape the support and management of Estuary Care.”

He says results of the recent mangrove removal trial had been encouraging.

“We learned a lot from our first mechanical trial last year. Our second mechanical trial on Wednesday has given us a possible direction to pursue for a cost effective, mechanical method to control mangroves.”

He reminded Estuary Care groups that if they’ve got ideas about machinery that may be suitable for the mechanical removal they should let the regional council know.

“We’ll consider all proposals against the same criteria of cost effectiveness and their ability, while having minimal environmental impact. “

All Estuary Care groups on Tauranga harbour have been granted resource consent to remove mangroves and most are busy with working bees. If you would like to be involved with the group in your area, please contact Environment Bay of Plenty on BOP 0800 ENV BOP (368 267) for details.



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