In August 2020 the Minister of Conservation announced the results of the 2020 DOC Community Fund Applications. GOPI was awarded the sum of $41,989 for our project on Inlet Planting.
The focus of the project was a three-year plan to restore the poorly vegetated buffers at key sites around the Inlet and to re-establish saltmarsh and other species on the beach margins. Adding more vital saltmarsh (Juncus krausii) to the Inlet ecosystem is critical to Inlet ecosystem health – it fuels some 60% of the food chain. The saltmarsh and other plants also provide much needed protection to bird-feeding and breeding areas and help reduce some of the pollutants from road traffic and other sources entering the Inlet.
Planting was planned for the Kakaho estuary, the Camborne walkway, areas adjacent to the Te Ara Piko walkway, Ivey Bay and Brown’s Bay. The project also included predator and weed control. We envisioned opportunities for community volunteers to help do some of the planting.
Porirua City Council was a key supporter, with PCC resources used to implement the project, and we worked with Ngati Toa Rangatira and other community organisations on some of the plantings.
GOPI committee members Andre van Halderen and Alistair Webb developed the application. Its success was also due to the strong support and help from Porirua City Council, especially Nigel Clarke, Council Manager – Harbour and Resource Recovery.
The Project Plan
The plan covered:
- Establishing saltmarsh restoration areas;
- Buffer plantings to protect feeding and breeding sites for coastal birds using key plant species, eg: Apodasmia similis (oioi/jointed wire rush), Plagianthus divaricatus (saltmarsh ribbonwood) and Juncus kraussii (i.e Juncus maritimus — sea rush);
- Weed control and restoration plantings in ecologically important sites;
- Predator trapping on the perimeter of planted sites to protect coastal bird species and encourage gecko and skink habitat; predator trap counts will be added to the national database through PredatorFree.org;
- Monitoring the success of all buffer and restoration plantings, weed control measures and the numbers of predators in the area;
- Bird monitoring, undertaken by the Ornithological Society (this will supply information on the long-term outcomes of the project).
The project is now complete and has resulted in the following areas being successfully planted:
Motukaraka Point 23/1/21
Browns Bay 2/7/22
Camborne Walkway 2/7/22
Ivey Bay 20/11/22