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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!

Contact us if you would like to be involved in Coast Care Bay of Plenty.