The Uretara restoration project involves many aspects, all with the aim of increasing and protecting our native habitat and therefore biodiversity.
Pest monitoring and control
3rd year BOP Polytechnic students have been involved in a study on the population and distribution of rodents in the estuary margins. Tracking results have shown presence of rats and mice and now baiting is occurring to control the pests. UEM members are still tracking and baiting in other areas to continually control the rodent population.
Native planting/wetland restoration
Native planting has occurred to control erosion, enhance wetlands and habitat. A nursery was developed by and for volunteers to propagate seedlings from locally eco-sourced seeds. Highlights include:
Erosion control on Park Road point
Planted the wetland beside Levely Reserve
Planting in the catchment and along the Uretara and Yeoman Walkways
Mangroves were considered a problem to the estuary margins, invading hitherto clear shoreline. A trial was undertaken clearing along the outer margin of the man groves. A resource consent to control mangroves was applied for and issued in May 2007. 2 working bees saw volunteers toil heavily in mud and roots clearing the shore margins. Additional clearings are currently in the pipeline.
Mangrove planting trials have also occurred in areas where shoreline erosion is taking place. It is being tested to see if the plants help reduce wave and water energy.
Water monitoring and schools
Regular water monitoring of streams in the Uretara catchment have been underway in conjunction with local schools, Katikati College in particular. Fish surveys, water chemistry, water hydrodynamics and macroinvertebrate surveys have taken place. It is hoped to build a database of information in collaboration with data gained by government bodies like EBOP and NIWA.