How you can help protect Wanaka's waterways

With the Upper Clutha Lakes Trust and the Million Metres Streams Project

In 2013, the New Zealand Ministry for the Environment reported that 60% of monitored rivers in New Zealand were unsafe for swimming. The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment lamented that without intervention, nearly every lake and river in the country would be deteriorating by 2020.

 One of the solutions? Riparian planting.

What is riparian planting?

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These plants act as sieves and filter out unwanted sediment and bacteria before it enters the waterway. More trees also help shade the water, keeping the temperature cool and providing a better habitat for wildlife. The Million Metres Streams Project was born to help facilitate riparian planting across New Zealand, with the goal of planting a million metres of riparian margins. Million Metres makes it easy and exciting for everyone to invest in the health of our country’s waterways.

What is the state of Wanaka’s waterways?

The freshwater generated by the Southern Alps sustains all of Otago’s recreation, tourism, agriculture and dams. It’s also the source of all our drinking water. The Upper Clutha Lakes Trust (UCLT) was formed in 2018 to protect our local waters and is made up of passionate individuals and businesses working to ensure our water stays clean.

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This year, the UCLT identified Cardrona Valley as having several issues that affect water quality. To find out more about these issues, click here.

How can you help?

The UCLT is working with the Million Metres Streams Project to run a fundraiser for the Cardrona Valley called Cardrona Kaitiaki. The fundraiser will run online until July 30th 2020, with a goal of raising $60,000. This breaks down to 600m of planting to be done at $100 per metrThis will contribute to 24,000 trees planted along the Upper Clutha catchment by 2022.

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You can help by donating to the project on the Million Metres website. For those who want to get their hands dirty, stop in to the Te Kakano nursery, where the seedlings are being raised.

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Together, we can all help protect Wanaka’s waterways for future generations to enjoy.