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Committee acknowledges Coast Care success

Friday, 17 June 2011 8:30 a.m.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council's Operations, Monitoring and Regulation Committee heard this week of the recent successes of the Bay of Plenty Coast Programme. The successes included the planting of 99,000 native dune plants, the involvement of more than 50 school groups and the participation of 2100 volunteers in 2010.

Operations, Monitoring and Regulation Committee Chair Malcolm Whitaker said he was pleased to see so many positive results coming out of the Coast Care Programme.

"So far in 2011 the Coast Care Programme has started the planting season with well-attended events at Waihī Beach, Mount Maunganui, Pāpāmoa East, Maketū and Pikowai," Mr Whitaker said.

Sponsorship of Matatā surfcasting competitions has continued to reduce vehicle impacts on coast dunes. Mr Whitaker said in 2008 staff and volunteers recorded 80 vehicles on dune plants per event.

"This number has subsequently reduced to 15 vehicles in 2009, five in 2010 and one in 2011."

He also said that although the results are proving positive there is a lot of work to be done to maintain a healthy dune system.

"Most people associate Coast Care with planting, so the challenge for staff and contractors now is to try and harness volunteer energy for the control of weeds which threaten existing and newly established plants."

"Council staff are working with geographical information specialists to create better systems to monitor and record volunteer efforts.

"It is anticipated that these will allow contractors and volunteers to record their contributions from home as well as seeing works carried out by others in their area", Mr Whitaker said.

Coast Care Bay of Plenty is a successful multi-agency partnership between the Bay of Plenty Regional Council, the four coastal territorial local authorities, the Department of Conservation and coastal communities in the Bay to restore dunes in the region.

The programme operates on a $440,000 annual budget of which Council contributes approximately 68 percent. It has been running since 1995 and currently has 900 registered volunteers.   

Ends

For further media information please contact Senior Land Management Officer Pim de Monchy on 0800 884 880 or Clare Dowthwaite, Communications Advisor, on 0800 884 881 ext 8148 or 021 989 666.

Coast Care Waihi Beach lowres