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Apply now for an Environment Enhancement grant

June 11, 2008


MEDIA STATEMENT


Apply now for an Environment Enhancement grant

Landowners or groups working to protect and enhance native biodiversity in Canterbury have until the end of August to apply for contestable grants of up to $5,000 through Environment Canterbury’s Environment Enhancement Fund.

This year ECan has $237,800 available - $180,000 from Environment Canterbury’s Environment Enhancement Fund, and another $57,800 from the Honda TreeFund.

Financial assistance can be granted for any project that contributes to the region's indigenous biodiversity and usually involves the protection or enhancement of waterways, wetlands, coastal dunes and native vegetation. Applicants may apply more than once.

ECan Biodiversity portfolio chair Cr Jane Demeter noted the greater awareness of funding available for biodiversity work in Canterbury. “The pressures on our indigenous habitats are increasing so we need to work together to ensure we protect native species. This year’s launch of the Canterbury Biodiversity Strategy is a milestone for further protecting our habitats and species.”


ECan’s Land portfolio chair, Cr Ross Little, says the number of applications received each year, since the inception six years ago, has been steadily growing. “This is good news, especially in the light of the general intensification of land use. The fact that landowners are prepared to put some land aside and spend time, money and labour on its protection, shows that the awareness of conservation values has increased dramatically over recent years".


Successful 2007 projects included:


Mid Canterbury

• Fencing an area of 20.8 hectares on Kaitorete Spit and placing the area under a conservation covenant.

• Fencing and planting of the Te Kawa Stream in Port Levy to increase the quality of the habitat for inanga spawning.

• 45 metres of protective fencing and planting along the Okana Stream in Little River to restrict stock access and establish a native riparian zone.

• Installation of 50 metres of fencing and native planting to protect and enhance a riparian area of a stream running through a Little River property.

• Restoration of a riparian margin along the Halswell River to allow for the creation of larger links for nature corridors and recreational use throughout the catchment.


South Canterbury

• The fencing and planting of 2.8 km of Nelson’s Creek in the Timaru District to restrict stock access to the creek.

• 1,490 metres of protective fencing was installed in the Ashburton District to help protect remnant and rare native species on ungrazed roadside areas.

• Extending a habitat corridor of native bush adjacent to Alford Forest onto private land and protecting remnant species within the fenced area.

• Protection and restoration of a large area of public land back to Ashburton Plains kanuka to help the protection of regionally threatened plant communities.

• 500 metres of fencing and planting to protect and enhance wetland areas within the Ahuriri Valley.


North Canterbury

• Fencing 2.5 hectares of the Puhi Puhi Valley in Kaikoura to protect a special native plant area.

• Fencing 17.9 hectares to protect an area of remnant native forest consisting of some special interest flora in the Waiau area.

• 700 metres of fencing installed to enhance a natural wetland and to reintroduce native species in the Culverden district.

• Planting 800 native plants in a 43 hectare regenerating coastal bush reserve to increase biodiversity in the Gore Bay area.


The Environment Enhancement Fund provides grants for usually no more than 50 percent of a project’s total cost. Application forms and further information on the funding programme are available from Environment Canterbury’s website on www.ecan.govt.nz/eef or by calling Customer Services, 0800 EC INFO
(0800 324 636).


ENDS

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