Environment Minister Amy Adams has announced that the Government is providing $1.5 million to 16 community groups to help them improve the environment, under the latest round of the Community Environment Fund.
The fund helps New Zealanders who are passionate about the environment take action to address local issues.
The $1.5 million will help improve fish stocks, restore wetlands, implement pest control operations, reduce sediment and nutrient going into waterways, create a habitat sanctuary and establish community vegetable gardens and composting facilities.
"The range of work that will be undertaken to enhance our environment is impressive, and I am pleased the Government is able to reward passion and initiative through this fund," Ms Adams says.
Recipients include the Conscious Consumers programme run by the 42collective The group will use $70,000 to encourage cafes, restaurants, bars and their suppliers to use environmentally-sustainable business practices, such as composting and recycling.
The Piha wetland restoration project receives $50,000 to restore a wetland area and create an outdoor classroom for Auckland's school students.
Students will help the restoration by planting flax and native plants, while learning to identify and study the plants in the wetland.
The Bay of Islands Maritime Park Incorporated Society will use $80,000 to reduce sediment and nutrient input to Bay of Islands waterways to restore functional freshwater, marine ecosystems and natural biodiversity. It will also educate, encourage and support landowner and community initiatives and advocate for integrated catchment management within the Bay.
The Habitat Restoration at Tawharanui Open Sanctuary project will restore coastal forest and swamp forest wetland vegetation at Tawharanui Regional Park. The project will establish 6.5 hectares of coastal pohutukawa and coastal broadleaf and swamp forest to increase the habitat for re-introduced species and strengthen the links between existing native forest and wetland areas. It will also improve the quality of wetland environments and protect water quality by removing stock access to coastal and valley environments and provide opportunities for community involvement and education in the sanctuary.
Ms Adams has also announced that the next funding round for the Community Environment Fund has now opened.
“This is a fantastic fund and the Government is keen to support smart initiatives that encourage local communities to think about their impact on the environment and help make a positive difference. I encourage groups with great ideas to talk to the Environment Ministry about whether their project is eligible for funding.”
For more information about applying to the Community Environment Fund visit http://www.mfe.govt.nz/withyou/funding/community-environment-fund/
04 July 2012