Case study -Upokorehe get 'hands on' with mangroves
Upokorehe get 'hands on' with mangroves
The Upokorehe hapu gained resource consent in 2011
to remove outlying mangroves from the Ohiwa Harbour. During the
summer of 2011/2012, Upokorehe hapu volunteers worked hard to
remove just under four hectares (by hand!) of mangroves from the
Upokorehe spokesperson Maui Manuel said: "The work was challenging
in the heat and soft mud, so our team worked very hard for several
hours, and then had a great social time and barbeque."
Upokorehe is the only group in the Ohiwa Harbour to have a
resource consent (a permit from the Regional Council) to remove
mangroves. Through the recent 'hands on' experience, the group is
now expert in how best to do this work. An important feature of the
mangrove removal project is recognition of the value of mangrove
habitat (particularly for the rare banded rail bird), so not
all mangroves can be removed. Instead, there are defined areas
where removal is desirable. The muddy mangrove habitat is generally
less rich in desirable bird and shellfish species than the sandy
substrate areas of the Harbour.
Considerable research was carried out into the ecology and spread
of the mangroves. In recent years, mangrove populations have
increased enormously and scientists agreed that if left unchecked,
mangroves could potentially cover 95 percent of the Harbour. Click
here for more
information about the sediment and mangrove plan.
During the mangrove removal project, sediment particle size is
monitored.The hope is that removing mangroves will help fine mud
particles flush out of the Harbour, leaving coarser material. This
provides a better home for the native worms and invertebrates that
wading birds and fish live on, and for pipi and cockles. Photo
points are also being established at each removal site, with photos
are taken before and after each working bee to record visual
changes over time.
The project is an example of iwi demonstrating their
kaitiakitanga of the Harbour by leading with action for the benefit
of the Harbour.
Removing mangroves outside the conditions of the resource
consent is not allowed. However, if you are keen to help out with
this work, please contact Tim Senior at the Bay of Plenty Regional
Council on the contact details below.