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Life’s a beach for new coast care co-ordinator

Life’s a beach for new coast care co-ordinator

For immediate release: Monday 29 September 2008
The Bay of Plenty’s beaches will get a boost now that a new Coast Care Co-ordinator has started.
Pim de Monchy joined Environment Bay of Plenty this month as the full-time Land Management Officer for the Coast Care programme.
Mr de Monchy said he was looking forward to meeting existing Coast Care volunteers and encouraging new groups to start up.
“The volunteers have worked incredibly hard in protecting our coastline,” Mr de Monchy said. “However, these volunteers are mainly based near built up residential areas like Waihi and Papamoa.  The less populated rural areas are just as important ecologically and it would be good to see these stretches of coastline being protected too.”
Mr de Monchy said the role of the Coast Care groups in protecting the Bay’s coastline would be even more important in light of climate change.
“Our coastline could be vulnerable to rising sea levels in the future.  However, if you have healthy dunes then the likelihood of damage to land and property behind those dunes will be reduced,” Mr de Monchy said.
Before joining Environment Bay of Plenty, Mr de Monchy was the Operations Manager for Maungatautari Ecological Island Trust, a community-led sanctuary in the Waikato.
Environment Bay of Plenty Land Resources Manager Robyn Skelton said Mr de Monchy’s appointment underlined the regional council’s and partner organisations’ commitment to the Coast Care programme. 
“Coast Care represents the way we want to work with our communities – it gives community groups a sense of ownership of these important areas within our region,” Ms Skelton said. “We are absolutely committed to the programme and are exploring ways to grow it. We are therefore delighted to have someone with Pim’s experience on board.”
Coast Care Bay of Plenty is a community based programme co-ordinated by Environment Bay of Plenty which aims to reduce erosion of sand dunes. Dunes are important because they protect our homes and our neighbourhoods from coastal flooding and erosion.
Coast Care is a partnership programme involving Tauranga City Council, Western Bay of Plenty District Council, Opotiki District Council, Whakatane District Council, the Department of Conservation and Environment Bay of Plenty. 

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