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Boost to environment expected

Boost to environment expected following fund announcement

For immediate release: Tuesday 11 November 2008

The Bay of Plenty’s environment will be boosted by the efforts of 22 groups next year, as recipients of Environment Bay of Plenty’s Environmental Enhancement Fund are announced.

The fund, which has an aim of supporting projects that protect or enhance the region’s environment, has been providing advice and financial support to groups since 2001.

Successful projects in this year’s round include:

·       privet removal and wetland restoration in the Tararahia Ranges;

·       restoration of the western bank of the Tarawera River;

·       pest animal control in the Karaponga Reserve, Otamatuna and along beaches from Matata to Otamarakau; and

·       wetland and waterway restoration in Awaiti, Maraenui, Matata, Te Totara Ruatoki, Lake Pupuwharau Kawerau and the Waiorahi stream in Tauranga. 

This year the fund is also contributing to Tauranga’s successful Sustainable Backyards event being run by the Tauranga Environment Centre; restoration work in the Kopurererua Valley; and work towards protecting native birds like the kokako and dotterel.

Chairman of the Environmental Enhancement Fund sub-committee, Councillor Malcolm Whitaker, said the funding was great news for the community.

“These groups are making a difference to the community at a grass-roots level. This year we had a strong focus on funding groups working to enhance wetlands and waterways or threatened native species habitats, and they also had to meet strict criteria set out in their application form.”

 “If there are groups that were hoping to receive funding but didn’t, we hope they’ll be in touch for advice from us, and apply again next year,” Mr Whitaker said. “We know there are still many projects out there to be done and we hope to be involved with them in future years.”

Smaller fund open all-year for applications less than $5000

Mr Whitaker said groups should also remember that projects requiring less than $5000 can apply to the fund all-year-round under changes made last year.

“This is great as many of the smaller projects that apply to the fund don’t need to or want to wait for the yearly fund application round,” Mr Whitaker said. “We’ve set aside $50,000 for these smaller projects, so if you’ve got something in mind, talk to us about whether it would be suitable for funding or not.”

 ends

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