Million Metres Streams Project goes live

21 October 2014

The Sustainable Business Network has launched NZ’s first environmental crowd-funding website, the Million Metres Streams project.

A collaboration between the Sustainable Business Network (SBN) and Enspiral, the Million Metres Streams (MMS) Project aims to help restore the health of New Zealand’s waterways, by speeding up riparian (stream bank) planting.

The crowd-funding platform and website developed by Enspiral is the first of its kind in New Zealand. As the name of the project suggests, the goal is to fund one million metres of riparian planting on private and public land. A counter on the website’s homepage tracks progress towards that target.

With 44%* of all monitored lakes polluted beyond eutrophication^, and 62%* of our lowland rivers being unswimmable due to pathogens, something needs to be done quickly to start returning our waterways to a state of good health. Riparian planting is an important part of the solution.

“The MMS website allows donors to buy metres of riparian planting for projects that are being run by community groups, councils and landowners around New Zealand,” says Claire Warren, MMS project communications manager. “It’s a way of building on the good work these groups are already doing.” 

“This project is a radically inclusive way of scaling up and speeding up stream restoration projects in New Zealand,” says Rachel Brown, SBN CEO.

“It’s a native restoration platform that anyone can get involved with,” she says.

Similar to SBN’s previous Carbon4Good programme, the MMS Project works with field partners who are already undertaking riparian planting and stream restoration projects. The field partner will use the funds to purchase native trees and other useful plants like flaxes and grasses, and will arrange volunteers to do the planting at the chosen site. 

“We’re very excited that Auckland Council has just agreed to become a Field Partner, representing rural and urban stream projects between Mangawhai and the Bombay Hills,” says Claire.

Further Field Partners and more projects are still being sought.

The website has launched with two planting projects, which represent 2300 metres of planned planting next season. Donating to the MMS project is a great way for your business to offset carbon. Click here to use SBN’s carbon calculator, then visit the Million Metres Streams Project website and buy your metre or more of stream restoration.

The MMS project gives all New Zealanders – individuals and businesses alike – the opportunity to do their bit to restore the lifeblood to our streams, rivers and lakes.

The MMS project is also looking for foundation and in-kind sponsors; if you’re interested contact Claire Warren, MMS project communications manager or Rebecca Keen, MMS project coordinator.

* Verburg et al. (2010). Lake water quality in New Zealand 2010: Status and trends. NIWA, Hamilton.

^ Nutrients causing algal blooms which deplete oxygen from water and ‘flip’ the lakes into an alternative state.