Council is involved in several initiates aimed at improving the health and life of our waterways. There are also many ways in which you can contribute towards improving the environment in and around our rivers and streams.
The Council provides expert advise and financial assistance through its River and Streams Management Fund. The types of work involved in the programme are:
Work on streams and gullies including the clearance of blockages, planting of appropriate grass, shrub or tree species, protection fencing and drop control structure construction. Both native and exotic plants may be suitable. Further information can be obtained from:
Controlling the grazing and access of grazing stock to watercourses can result in major improvements in water quality. Fencing off and management of the riparian areas is the major tool.
The type of fencing required depends on the farm management system that it has to compliment. It ranges from two-wire electric through to the standard post and batten fence. Similarly management of the riparian areas will vary from excluding stock totally through to controlled grazing.
Planting may be necessary in some circumstances to control or filter surface run-off and may incorporate erosion control planting.
Important habitats include wetlands, streams of high native fish values and significant riparian vegetation. Protection of these areas is primarily through fencing to exclude livestock. Where necessary, weed and pest management programmes may also need implementing.
The Fund mainly targets the upper catchment areas, ie. on small streams and watercourses. The extensive amount of research carried out indicates that upper catchment streams and creeks, drains and wetland areas that feed into major watercourses are more susceptible to degradation than other large watercourses. The best reward for effort will come where enhancement or restoration is first focussed on the headwaters. Other areas such as main rivers and wetlands will also be assessed and have been included into the works programme.
Council can arrange for a biodiversity report to be prepared for you if you own a patch of natural bush, including forest with streams flowing through. Greater awareness of the biodiversity values can lead to enhancing important plant and animal communities.
Regulation is often necessary to ensure that there is a level playing field. Part IV and V of the Tasman Resource Management Plan contain most of the relevant rules to protect stream life.
This will provide shading and enhance water quality as well as food and habitat for fish. Do it with a group to ease the workload. StreamCare groups will be supported by Council.
Report anything that does not seem right to you. This could include:
Note: If you provide photos it will greatly assist us in determining the urgency of the issue.
For further information on learning about the ecology of our streams or joining us on a fish survey, please contact:
Phone: 03 543 8400