Auckland: Breathing new life into the arteries of our city
24 September 2013
Breathing new life into the arteries of our city
Sunday 29 September is World Rivers Day, an annual celebration of the world's waterways celebrated by millions of people in more than 60 countries.
The day highlights the many values of streams and rivers in our communities and cities and reminds us of our role as stewards of these waterways.
One such stream being brought back to life in our city is Harania Stream in Mangere. Auckland Council is leading the charge to help protect and restore the stream habitat that was once an extensive network of tributaries and wetlands.
Gael Ogilvie, Auckland Council Manager Environmental Services, says existing Wai Care groups are restoring the local stream and encouraging neighbours to contribute to ongoing water quality improvements.
Some of those volunteers include a group of year six Environmental Studies’ students from Sutton Park School, who are actively participating in the restoration of the stream.
“Every week they investigate and monitor the stream creatures and their habitat, identifying fish and invertebrates, testing water quality and more recently planting native grasses to stabilise the stream banks,” she says.
“The conservation role these children are playing is inspiring and is truly leading by example. This is a long-term project and the students will soon be gathering seed to grow streamside plants in their own greenhouse,” adds Ms. Ogilvie.
In 2012 Auckland Council ecologists and whitebait volunteers identified the Harania as a significant breeding ground for threatened species including whitebait, banded kokopu and inanga.
Auckland Council’s Wai Care programme places a high value on enhancing waterways, encouraging owners and neighbours to clear litter and revegetate banks, breathing new life into the streams and rivers in their communities.
The Harania project has already gained the enthusiastic support of a number of local schools and volunteers and Wai Care will continue to work collaboratively to investigate pollution sources and other threats to aquatic life, taking action to improve the stream and ultimately the Manukau Harbour into which it flows.
To find out more about the Wai Care programme, and to get involved in stream restoration in your community, visit www.waicare.org.nz