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Tauranga Harbour targeted in Annual Plan

Tauranga Harbour targeted in Annual Plan


11 July 2014


Increased marine biosecurity efforts, new scientific research and an innovative approach to mangrove seedling control are amongst a suite of projects the Bay of Plenty Regional Council will be leading this year in its work to care for Tauranga Harbour.

Environmental Delivery General Manager Warwick Murray says that through Council’s Ten Year and Annual Plan processes, the community have asked for more work to be done to keep the Tauranga Harbour healthy and accessible.

“Tauranga Harbour and its catchment are a priority for Council’s work to care for the land, air and water in this region. We’ve budgeted $5.1m this year to continue and expand on our efforts to deliver work the community has asked for, including reducing harbour sedimentation and mangrove spread, improving water quality and managing sea lettuce,” he said.

The Bay of Plenty Regional Council Annual Plan for 2014/15 was adopted by the Regional Council on 26 June, based on Year Three of its Ten Year Plan 2012-2022. The Plan sets out what activities the Council will undertake and how they will be paid for.

“We already have a comprehensive water, shellfish and environmental monitoring programme in place and we assist landowners, through advice and subsidies, to manage pests, protect natural areas and get the best out of their land while looking after it. Since 2012 we’ve also been working with landowners to implement 16 sub-catchment action plans, with the aim of reducing sediment and nutrient run-off into the waterways and harbour,” said Mr Murray.

“That work, along with our maritime safety, pollution response, estuary care group support and sea-lettuce clean-up efforts will continue as usual. We also have some innovative new projects planned this year,” he said.

Additional work planned for this financial year includes:

• trialling and refinement of sediment control methods for upper catchment use

• development and trialling of a hovercraft for low impact mowing of mangrove seedlings in previously cleared areas

• increased surveillance and advocacy efforts to prevent the spread of unwanted marine pests such as the Mediterranean fan worm and clubbed tunicate sea squirt

• Pollution audits with businesses in the Judea industrial area

• Scientific research to improve understanding about nutrient sources and cycles (that can affect abundance of sea lettuce and other marine plants and animals) and the impacts of sediment on marine life in the harbour

• providing all-tide access to Matakana Island through dredging of the Opureora Channel (subject to resource consent approval)

• Development of a shared strategy, in partnership with Tauranga Moana iwi and territorial local authorities, for future management of the harbour and catchment

“Tauranga Harbour is a taonga (treasure) that many people in the community rely on for recreation, kaimoana (seafood) and business. We need everyone to help keep the harbour healthy by taking care with what they do on land and in the water.”

“We’ll continue to help landowners and business reduce their impacts through improving land-use and waste control practices. We’ll also be working with boaties and the marine sector to maintain vigilance around marine pests,” Mr Murray said.

Further information about Regional Council’s work in Tauranga Harbour is available at www.boprc.govt.nz/taurangaharbour

Ends

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