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Estuary Care

About Estuary Care

Estuary Care groups have formed to maintain estuary values such as open water, clean and clear water, abundant fish and shellfish, estuary margins free of plant and animal pests and rubbish, and to protect native estuarine and bird habitats in their estuaries.

There are eleven groups around Tauranga Harbour and two around Ohiwa Harbour that are supported by Regional Council.

See map below for Tauranga Harbour group locations and contact our Tauranga Coastal Land Management Officer Katrina Browne by phone 0800 884 880 or email, for details about your local group.

Tauranga Estuary Care map

Get involved

Estuary Care groups are always looking for new members and volunteers to help out at regular working bees.

For many people, caring for their estuary starts with getting to know the wildlife that lives there. The Birds of Omokoroa Estuary booklet (7.86MB, pdf) will help you to identify local bird life. Printed copies are available for purchase ($5.00) at the Omokorao Library, Omokoroa Boat Club or by emailing Katrina Browne as above.

There's lots of other ways you can help too, here's a few:

Find out more >> 

How Regional Council supports Estuary Care

Estuary Care Groups can apply for funding for projects such as pest control and planting through the Environmental Enhancement Fund and Biodiversity Management Programmes.

Regional Council's environmental monitoring in Tauranga Harbour and Ohiwa Harbour provides useful information to Estuary Care groups and the wider community about water quality, wildlife, shellfish safety and other factors related to estuary health.

Mangrove expansion is a key concern for many Estuary Care groups who value access to sandy areas and open water to enjoy walking, boating and shellfish gathering in their harbours. Mangroves are a protected native plant which requires a a sensitive aproach management.

Regional Council works with landowners and Estuary Care groups to implement catchment action plans for the Tauranga and Ohiwa Harbours. This catchment protection work aims to reduce the harbour sedimentation that promotes mangrove growth, it also improves management of soil, water and wildlife in the catchments.  

Regional Council is also assisting Estuary Care groups to hold the line on mangrove expansion through resource consent processes and development of new mangrove management methods including a specialised hovercraft.

More estuary information

See our Tauranga Harbour factsheets for more information about:

The Wetland Restoration Guide (1.21MB, pdf) contains helpful information about protecting an restoring fresh or salt water wetlands.

See the 'Estuaries' section on the Department of Conservation website for more useful links and estuary information.