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Partnering up to care for our beaches

Partnering up to care for our beaches

When you are walking the beaches around the Coromandel this summer, you may notice some new signs reminding people to take care of our precious coastal environment.

The Coastcare - Waikato signs, pictured above, ask people to use marked access ways to get to the beach to help protect our sand dunes.

Our Council is proud to be part of the Coastcare partnership alongside the Waikato Regional Council (WRC), the Department of Conservation (DOC) and iwi and to work in with Forest & Bird NZ and ratepayer groups to protect and restore our coast.

Coastcare was recently rebranded from Beachcare – a programme that started more than 10 years ago bringing together groups of people who work to protect the coast in their area. Work involves restoring dunes with native dune plants, building access ways, controlling pest plants and animals, installing signs, community education and monitoring beaches for changes or problems that need attention.

We have more than ten Coastcare groups across the Coromandel including in Opito Bay, Buffalo Beach and Cooks Beach. For a map of where local groups are located, click here.

Our Council’s coastal management coordinator Tanya Patrick says we’re lucky to have some of the most beautiful beaches in the country on the Coromandel.

“It’s certainly one of the main reasons people choose to visit and live here and it’s significant to be working together with our agency partners to take care of our coastal environment,” Tanya says.

“We can all play our part to look after our beaches by staying off the sand dunes, not driving on beach reserves or dunes and taking rubbish with us when we leave the beach,” Tanya says.

A Coastcare group recently planted about 1500 native plants on the sand dunes around beach access 9 on Pauanui Beach (pictured below). The group was helped by the Hikuai School and local volunteers.

These sorts of planting days happen frequently across the district and if you want to get involved with a planting day near you, please contact tanya.patrick@tcdc.govt.nz

For more information on Coastcare programme, click here:

Building a sustainable coastal future

A project that sees us working closely with our coastal communities is the development of Shoreline Management Plans (SMPs).

Following on from the adoption of our Coastal Management Strategy and Coastal Hazards Policy in 2018, our Council is underway with a three-year project to define the flooding and erosion risks to people and the social, cultural, economic and natural environment across all parts of our coastline over the next century and beyond.

All of our coastal communities will be relied upon to tell us their coastal stories, pass on their knowledge of coastal environments, engage in discussions and work through solutions. 

Our Council's operations group manager Bruce Hinson says SMPs are one of the proactive steps our Council is taking in response to the challenge of climate change for our communities, ensuring we are engaged, prepared, protected and safe in the long-term.

"Over the next three years, with your valued input, we will produce SMPs that cover the entire Thames-Coromandel coast," Mr Hinson says.

"This is your coast. We believe that by striving together to create resilient coastal environments we will ensure thriving coastal communities long into the future," Mr Hinson says. 

More information: tcdc.govt.nz/coastal

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