Dept of Conservation media release
The Waikanae Estuary Care Group will be stocking up their plant nursery to help restore the Lower North Island’s second most valuable estuarine environment following a $20,000 grant from the Department of Conservation (DOC) Community Fund.
The Waikanae Estuary Scientific Reserve, established in 1987, protects a natural mosaic of freshwater and coastal ecosystems in what is today an urbanised area. The Waikanae Estuary Care Group has been working hard since 2006 to maintain and restore the estuary.
The Care Group will receive $20,000 over the next 21 months from the Community Fund, which will go towards growing of some 3500 native eco-sourced plants in the Care Group’s own nursery in the estuary.
“This grant will support and grow our existing work to improve the Waikanae Estuary for both the flora, fauna and the public,” says Robin Gunston, chairman of the Care Group.
“Increased urbanisation has seen the estuary habitats reduced in area, and they are also subject to an increasing range of pressures about their use. A key part of the Care Group’s work is not only to restore but demonstrate to the public how they can protect and care for the Scientific Reserve that they use regularly, but often take for granted.”
An additional 2000 plants will be specially sourced and grown to go alongside the main estuary path, aimed at radically enhancing the public perception of the Scientific Reserve. The nursery will be updated, with renewed shade house growing and plant-out capacity. Planting will be enhanced by environmentally friendly plant shelters, which are more effective and reusable.