More than half of New Zealand’s rivers are now unsafe to swim in and the worst affected regions include Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Wellington, Canterbury and Northland.
The shocking fact was revealed by new figures released last month by regional councils. So what can we do about it?
Taking part in The Love Project, now in it’s second year, is one way you can help. The Love Project, supported by Phoenix Organics and Sustainable Coastlines, aims to clean up some of New Zealand’s dirtiest rivers by empowering communities to do riparian planting. Last year’s Love Project removed 5000 litres of rubbish from New Zealand beaches.
“We’re helping communities to stop pollution at its source by setting up riparian planting events – these will help reduce pollutants entering rivers by re-establishing native vegetation,” says Sustainable Coastlines co-founder Sam Judd.
The upcoming community planting days are to be held in Northland, Wellington, Canterbury, Otago, Waikato and Nelson with the goal of planting more than 7500 native plants along polluted riverbanks.
Wellington – Owhiro Stream Tree Planting: Friday, June 26, 2015
Christchurch – Travis Wetland Tree Planting: Friday, July 31, 2015
Nelson – Corder Park Tree Planting: Friday, August 21, 2015
Northland and Waikato during September 2015