What is Coast Care
Coast Care Bay of Plenty is a community partnership programme,
which uses local knowledge and enthusiasm to restore the form and
function of the dunes in the Bay of Plenty.
The dunes are the backbone of our beaches, the buffer between
the land and the sea. A properly functioning beach system will
contain a wide, well vegetated and gently sloping dune, which is a
reservoir of sand. During a storm the dune is a sacrificial zone,
buffering the effects of large waves.
We now know that native dune plants play a vital role, binding
light blowing sand onto the beach, and making stable sand dunes.
Without these plants, the sand blows away and dunes disappear
leaving the land vulnerable. Grazing by stock, excavation for
development, introduction of exotic plant species and pedestrian
trampling have significantly reduced the abundance of these
specialised native dune plants.
When the dunes are gone rock sea walls are often installed to
protect property from storm waves, but the sandy beach is lost as a
result. Coast Care volunteers restore the function of their beaches
by replanting native sand binding plants onto the dunes.
There are twenty-five community groups of Coast Care volunteers
throughout the Bay of Plenty. They are made up of community members
who care about their coastal environment and want to be involved in
protecting and managing that environment. The groups advise Council
which work they regard as priority and get together to plant and
protect the dunes at their beach.
All four coastal district and city councils (Western Bay of
Plenty, Tauranga, Opotiki, Whakatane) and the Department of
Conservation are in partnership with Bay of Plenty Regional
Council to run the Coast Care Bay of Plenty programme.
The Coast Care Coordinator and Coast Care contractors offer
advice on reducing and repairing dune damage, help facilitate
activities, and supply the volunteers with free resources. The
resources include native dune plants, informative brochures,
fertilisers and building materials for constructing fences and sand
ladders and great morning and afternoon teas on project days!
if you would like to be involved in Coast Care Bay of Plenty.