One of the most commonly known causes of water quality degradation is sediment and contaminants, such as toxic heavy metals, that are washed from the land into the coastal marine area through freshwater runoff. After rainfall, our Hibiscus & Bays beaches are often unsafe for swimming. Contaminants commonly bind to sediments and other particles, which settle out and accumulate on the seabed. This affects the survival, reproduction and/or behaviour of animals that live on the seabed, and may cause flow-on effects on other parts of the ecosystem. Māori are particularly concerned about effects on the mauri of the coastal areas, and the health, abundance and safety of kai moana for consumption.
Sea Change – Tai Timu Tai Pari is a plan to restore the life and health of the Gulf developed by a diverse Stakeholder Working Group representing mana whenua, environmental and conservation, commercial and recreational fishing, aquaculture, land use, farming and infrastructure.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Monitor – Local communities can help to monitor the health of their local waterways. We can put you in touch with the Auckland Council Healthy Waters team to provide you with training.
Report – To report water pollution or a water quality issue, phone the Auckland Council pollution hotline on 09 377 3107.
Educate – Talk to your neighbours and friends about the negative effects for our waterways of pollutants and waste.
Plant – Tree planting initiatives along open waterways is one way to prevent pollution and sediment flowing into the Gulf. We are currently taking expressions of interest from individuals and organisations keen to participate as volunteers for our catchment-scale stream restoration programme.
Advocate – Write to the Hibiscus and Bays Local Board, your elected local Councillors, and your local MP to let them know how important this issue is to you and to ask them to put it to the top of their agenda.