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Mangrove Management Fund Opens

Mangrove Management Fund Opens

Northland communities keen to better manage mangroves in their areas are being urged to apply for a share of a $135,000 local authority fund.

The Northland Regional Council set aside $135,000 in its 2010/11 Annual Plan to help cover some of the costs of assessing environmental effects and applying for resource consents for community-led mangrove management initiatives.

Jon Hampson, the Council’s Estuary Management Advisor, says the Council is now inviting expressions of interest from people keen to take advantage of the ‘Mangrove Management Support Programme’ funding until Friday, 08 October 2010.

He says the fund will typically aim to help address drainage issues, public access or other community wellbeing issues that have arisen as a result of mangrove expansion in coastal areas. (It won’t pay for physical works.)

“Participation in the programme won’t guarantee resource consent will be granted, but it will ensure that environmental effects are appropriately assessed and consent applications are professionally prepared.”

He says priority will be given to proposals that are well-supported by local communities, comply with the appropriate rules and are backed by groups with the means to complete any physical works and long term management requirements.

In a similar vein, Regional Council staff are also keen to provide advice and resources to help interested groups identify how soil conservation initiatives can be implemented in catchments alongside mangrove management.

“We’re keen to see an integrated approach that recognises mangroves as part of an estuarine ecosystem and its processes.”

Mr Hampson says in many cases sediment washing into coastal areas has allowed mangroves to proliferate.

“This sediment may be coming from the land or may even be due to a historical coastal development, such as a causeway, altering the flow of water and supply of sediment in the adjacent intertidal area.”

“Managing these sorts of factors may be a critical component of any long term mangrove management plan.”

Mr Hampson says at this early stage it’s hard to accurately estimate how many projects will be able to take advantage of the fund, however, it was likely to be in the order of around a dozen.

Community groups keen to manage mangroves in their area are encouraged to contact Mr Hampson either by phone (0800) 002 004 or by emailing: jonh@nrc.govt.nz

Information is also available from the Council’s website via: www.nrc.govt.nz/mangroves

ENDS

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