Rena Recovery Newsletter Issue 6
Rena Recovery Newsletter Issue 6
Students head to the beach to help with monitoring programme
This month the team from Te Mauri Moana have been out and about getting into the next round of environmental sampling. Read about some of the work underway and meet the people behind the scenes making the research happen. An oil update explains what we are likely to expect over the summer season, and find out where to get information on the options that are being considered for the remainder of the wreck.
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The people behind the research
Caine Taiapa is leading the research into the impacts on kaimoana in Tauranga Harbour.
Caine is a local man who
is passionate about the ocean environment and supporting the
aspirations of his hapū Ngāti Taka.
“My whole reason for getting into science research was to be able to do what I am doing now, building capacity for our region and our iwi and helping the next generation.”
Following the grounding of the Rena, Caine has been pivotal in developing a research programme that investigates the impact of the Rena oil spill within the harbour. Caine has been able to build on his existing research with Manaki Taha Moana to monitor changes in the environment.
Research began this August, with a sample collection of 16 sites, focusing on Pipi and Tuangi (Cockles). His team are also looking for impacts on the food chain which includes small harbour sea snails. Samples are tested for PAHs (Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons) and metals including lead, copper, zinc and arsenic.
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High school students get involved
with Rena sampling
The next round of sampling is now underway, and local students have been helping out getting hands on experience with the research project.
Students from Te Whare Kura o Mauao joined the Rena Recovery monitoring team to sample kaimoana and shoreline species down at Ōmanu beach on Friday 26 October.
The students were part of a two day “Wananga Putaiao – environmental science learning camp” with Te Runanga o Ngai Te Rangi Iwi and Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi.
The aim of the programme is to encourage tamariki to be Maori scientists, incorporating matauranga Māori and western science concepts for the future. And while they were there, the students got to experience how science can be fun and earn NCEA credits required for entry into science based tertiary education.
Te Puea Dempsy, Rena Recovery researcher said this was an awesome opportunity to get the kids involved in “real life” sampling that could be of benefit in the future.
Scholarships awarded for
15 recipients acknowledged
Fifteen Rena scholarship recipients were acknowledged this month at the opening of the University of Waikato Coastal Marine Field Station's extended premises in Tauranga.
The student scholarships include one PHD, seven Masters of Science and seven summer school internships.
Professor Chris Battershill, Waikato University Chair of Coastal Science, said that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity for these students.
"At this time in their studies, this is a brilliant opportunity for them to be a part of such an extensive, comprehensive research project. Their help is greatly appreciated and they will add huge value to what we can achieve," he said.
The 15 students will be based at the Sulphur Point Marine Station, although some will also spend time at the University's Hamilton campus. Their research will focus on a range of areas within the monitoring programme from ecotoxicology to microbiology.
Oil spots expected to resurface
Advice about oil on beaches
Rena Recovery continues to monitor the presence of oil spots along the Bay of Plenty coastline. It is important to remember that small amounts of residual oil may occasionally resurface and be found on previously affected beaches.
There have been some reports of weathered oil washing ashore of a small nugget size and there have also been small particles of oil found in the sand. Remember to check your feet when you leave the beach to avoid staining floors.
If you come across oil, particularly any large clumps, call the Pollution Hotline on 0800 884 883.
Options for the wreck
Send in your feedback
The Rena owners and insurers are looking for feedback from the community on options for dealing with the remainder of the wreck.
They would like
the public to consider three options of either removing the
wreck, leaving the wreck or working to remove or contain any
remaining hazardous contents and make it safe.
Any proposal for leaving the wreck would require resource consent from Bay of Plenty Regional Council. To find out more about the proposals visit www.renaproject.co.nz or call 0800 547 362.
Bay of Plenty Regional Council • Department of Conservation • Maketu Taiāpure
Maritime New Zealand • Ministry for Primary Industries • Ministry for the Environment
Ministry of Transport • Ngati Makino • Opotiki District Council • Tauranga City Council
Te Moana A Toi • Toi Te Ora Public Health Service • University of Waikato
Waikato Regional Council • Western Bay of Plenty District Council
Whakatane District Council