8 Aug 2014

Wainono Wetland

From Country Life, 9:20 pm on 8 August 2014

kenndeyKennedy Lange beside the Wainono Lagoon.

The Wainono Restoration Project was selected by the Canterbury Water Management Strategy Regional Committee as one of three key flagship restoration initiatives for Canterbury.

It's part of a shared community vision for managing water and is a collaboration between Environment Canterbury, NgāiTahu, and stakeholders with an interest in water management.

The Lagoon, which is separated from the Pacific Ocean by the coastal shingle bank, covers an area of about 370 hectares and is no more than a metre deep. It's an important habitat for native fish, waterfowl, migratory and coastal birds.

Threatened species include the Canterbury mudfish/kowaro and the longfin eel/tuna. Threats to the lagoon include weeds, stock grazing, land reclamation, tracks, vegetation clearance, reduced water quality and potential irrigation.

Environment Canterbury biodiversity officer Kennedy Lange is the Wainono Restoration Project manager. "The key goals are to improve the water quality of the lagoon itself, and set it up better for dealing with the water that comes into it, maintaining the wetland communities around it, maintaining its value to the local Rūnanga and restoring its capacity as a source of mahinga kai."

The project is likely to cost nearly $2.5 million over 5 years and $800,000 has already been committed from the government's Fresh Start for Freshwater fund and Environment Canterbury.