Why restore wetlands and swamps on farms?????
For many years now the people of Matakana Island (and wider communities) have been noticing the degradation of Tauranga Moana – a huge increase in lettuce weed, more mangroves and a definite decline in fish and shellfish stocks. While overfishing could be contributing, the main reason for this is the silting of our waters. This is caused by the clearance of native vegetation of all the rivers, streams and tributaries that flow into our harbour. When the vegetation is cleared there is nothing left to filter horticultural / farm run-off from entering the waterways and vegetation clearance also causes soil destabilisation – meaning the soil erodes and washes down into the harbour. One of the most important aspects for us is that the fish loose their breeding grounds (the ‘waikura’ which is the area where the freshwater and saltwater merges) and there is no more native grasses/vegetation for them to lay their eggs in. Landowners and farmers are now recognising this and are starting to be proactive in trying to restore these unique ecosystems. There are also major benefits for the farmer in undertaking a restoration project (its not all about being green!!).
- - stock loss in wet areas
- - vet bills
- - soil loss
- - drain digger bills
- - weed control (provided riparian areas are planted as well as fenced)
- - land value
- - stock health
- - productivity
- - pasture quality
- - stocking rates
- - fertiliser control
“To restore, protect and enhance our biodiversity on Matakana Island whilst providing employment and education for our people – Mana Whenua, Mana Moana, Mana Tangata”
- The Matakana Island Community Native Nursery grows all plants for the restoration projects.
- Restoration areas are fenced by local contractor, using posts/battens from local operator.
- The native plants are then planted and maintained also by a local contractor.
- The restoration areas are then monitored by our local people.