16.07.19

Creating a Coromandel Wetland

By Anne Gummer

Million Metres is currently supporting an exciting and innovative project in Coromandel that is turning an area of wet, unproductive farmland into a healthy, thriving wetland.

Wonderful Wetlands!

Wetlands are pretty amazing ecosystems:

  • They provide essential habitat for native birds, fish and insects.
  • They act as a filter between the land and water, helping stop sediment and other pollutants from entering our streams and harbours.
  • They reduce the severity of both flooding and droughts by absorbing and storing excess rainfall and releasing this water again in hot weather.
  • They naturally absorb and store carbon, so restoring them is a great way to counter climate change.

 

In New Zealand so many of our wetlands have been drained – over 90%! So the opportunity to reinstate this wetland habitat in Coromandel is significant.

The Waitekuri Wetland project

The Waitekuri Wetland project is based on farmland in Coromandel. The Waikato Regional Council is working with landowners, the Denize family  to re-establish 13,600 m2 of wetland plants as habitat for native birds. Already pied stilt, New Zealand pipit and white faced heron use the area.

As well as the planting programme, the project will pilot the use of a constructed sediment trap. Reducing sediment will have a positive impact on water quality, and consequently create better habitat for native fish and invertebrates.

Overall, it is envisioned that this project will be a showcase for other landowners, demonstrating the water quality and biodiversity benefits of converting marginal farmland into wetlands.

The Waitekuri Wetland project is currently fundraising through Million Metres.

Planting Has Started!

On Arbour Day, a class of primary school children from Te Rerenga School planted 200 native plants at the wetland, creating 400m2 of planted area. It was a great opportunity for the children to learn about the importance of wetlands and see first hand the postive difference they can make to the environment.

In addition contractors have put in 1700 native plants along the stream side contributing another 881m2 of planted area.

With funds raised through Million Metres, a total of 5,000 plants will go in the ground this year.

Want to help?

Any donation big or small will help the project holders to create this wetland habitat. Find out more and support the project here.