The region’s biodiversity and water quality is set to receive a boost following Bay of Plenty Regional Council’s success in securing nearly $1.5 million funding under the One Billion Trees project.
The Regional Council estimates that more than 300,000 trees will now be planted on more than 250ha across the region as a result of the funding.
Forestry Minister Hon Shane Jones made the announcement on Friday as the Government allocated $6 million of One Billion Trees funding to create jobs and provide long-lasting environmental and economic benefits for New Zealand.
Bay of Plenty Regional Coastal Catchments Manager Pim de Monchy welcomed the news and the opportunity it presents to improve the quality of freshwater and enhance biodiversity across the region.
“The funding will ensure that the fencing and planting needed, particularly in vulnerable catchments, can occur on a scale that was previously not possible,” Mr de Monchy said.
“Nearly ninety percent of the plants going in the ground will be native so it will have significant benefits for the long term biodiversity of the region.
“The benefits of the resulting work are not just environmental either. We estimate that there are potentially 8 – 10 full-time jobs that will be created and local native nurseries will undoubtedly benefit from some very large orders.
“We already have over 50 landowners that we are working with who will directly benefit from the planting and fencing that this spend creates,” said Mr de Monchy.
Work includes riparian planting above the popular Kaiate Falls swimming hole near Tauranga, and wetland restoration and steep land retirement in other parts of the region.
For more information about Focus Catchments in the Bay of Plenty visit www.boprc.govt.nz/focuscatchments.