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Flights to check state of Tukituki – Hawke’s Bay Regional Council

Flights will begin today to cover about 87 randomly selected sites in the Tukituki Catchment. It is part of the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council’s State Of the Environment monitoring which informs our regional riparian management policy, and is not a compliance exercise.

The Council use the aerial imagery to examine stock access to waterways and the extent and condition of riparian vegetation. The sites were surveyed previously so that the Council can now detect any changes to these zones.

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council Senior Scientist Dr Ashton Eaves says “This monitoring helps us gauge how we’re tracking with our strategic goals relating to stock exclusion and planting around waterways. Through stratified random sampling, we visit 281 monitoring sites in different catchments throughout the region on a 4 to 5 year rotation – this year we are resurveying the Tukituki Catchment.

“Riparian zones are the area between the land and the waterways. When well-maintained they can act as a crucial buffer trapping nutrients, sediment and bacteria before they enter the water,” says Dr Eaves. “These zones will have been significantly impacted by Cyclone Gabrielle, so the flights allow us to assess any damage to these zones and the fencing that had been put in place to protect it.”

The flights should be completed by the end of the week depending on the weather. The information will be analyzed as part of ongoing environmental monitoring, and to help Catchment Advisors support landowners in their efforts to improve water quality through sustainable land management practices.

 

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