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Coastal Dune Vegetation Network Conference

Press Release, Monday 21 February 2005

Coastal Dune Vegetation Network Conference,
23-25 February 2005

The 8th national conference of the Coastal Dune Vegetation Network (CDVN) will be held in Whangarei, from 23 February to 25 February 2005.

The CDVN is a national group that includes local authorities, other coastal managers, researchers and a large community component of more than 250 collaborative members, such as Coast Care groups.

CDVN chair, Harley Spence says the conference will give those working in New Zealand’s most iconic environment the opportunity to share the latest results of research and dune management experience, and to visit dune restoration projects at some of Northland’s popular beaches.

“Despite the huge investment in housing and infrastructure along many of our coasts, much of it is vulnerable to erosion or invasion of wind-blown sand.”

Mr Spence says that the Network has had success restoring dunes degraded by years of heavy public use, grazing and burning, or bulldozing for development or to improve views.

“Better coastal dune management improves beaches for people and establishing native dune plants has been shown consistently to restore the protection that dunes give to the land behind them.”

Mr Spence points out that on some sites the successful new vegetation cover has overturned the need for expensive construction of rock or concrete walls to prevent coastal erosion.

Since severe storms and climate change effects can also cause coastal erosion, members of the CDVN are preparing a report for the Climate Change Office to assist local authorities with dune management recommendations to mitigate against these hazards.

The Network is administered from Forest Research, Rotorua, where scientists have a long history of work on sand dune vegetation.

The conference will be held at Forum North hosted by Whangarei District Council, with support from Northland Regional Council, Department of Conservation Northland, and a local landscape consultancy, Littoralis.

ENDS

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