I had some help from Lucas this year and we pulled out some really big bits of trash. The most interesting thing being an entire cash register! I had pulled the shopping trolley in the photo out of the creek a few months ago when it first went in. I did call PAK’nSave and give them an address for where their expensive trolley was. Unfortunately it was eventually biffed back in the creek and is now ruined.
So ugly, they look worse at low tide… sea snot. Amazing how dense the beds are given its only just been introduced to New Zealand. I guess we better get used to them.
Inspired by some recent conversations, I put together this list (in no particular order).
Things Aucklanders can do to help the Hauraki Gulf
- Have fun and do good with Voluntours
- Join an event in your area ecoevents.org.nz
- Look for and photograph invasive pests and post them here inaturalist.nz
- Survey your favourite spots
- Do restoration at your favourite spot naturespace.org.nz
- Find and submit plastic pellets pelletwatch.org
- Join BirdsNZ (the Ornithological Society of NZ) contribute to bird counting surveys and beach patrols osnz.org.nz
- Join Sustainable Coastlines and clean up a beach sustainablecoastlines.org
- Donate to Revive our Gulf reviveorgulf.co.nz
- Volunteer to cleanup rubbish with the Watercare Harbour Clean-Up Trust
- Report pollution
- Report poaching
- If you fish learn how to better release undersize fish. fishing.net.nz FYI, I don’t think we should kill our native fish.
- Explore and understand your waterway. Use these resources to improve it: waicare.org.nz and lawa.org.nz
- Join the conversation facebook.com/loveourgulf
I was absolutely stoked to work on this document. I have so much respect for the author and the team that put so much work into getting it right.
1:15 today, I was horrified to discover Omaru creek had gone white. I called the Pollution prevention hotline case #14/1714.
If this is a regular thing (blasters are supposed to divert the downpipes) then I bet 90% + of the zinc contamination in the Tamaki Estuary comes from water blasting roofs, not regular wear from rainfall.
UPDATE: 4:30 PM
Pollution prevention made it out and then went to talk to the TRC (Tamaki Recreation Centre). Apparently they need to make sure their contractors are not cutting corners and doing horrible stuff like this. I believe the TRC is a council
UPDATE: 2 Days later and I can’t see any obvious ecological damage. I imagine it would be more obvious in a less polluted stream. Like a lot of contamination events the effects will be largely long-term.
UPDATE: 30 July. A super nice guy from the TRC got in touch, they were very concerned about the event and have put in place processes to make sure it does not happen again.
Access also gave me a call, they told me this was a one off accident. The council confirmed this and accordingly let them off with a small fine of around $400). I think the maximum fine is only $1,000, if Mr Burns was running one of these companies he would definitely risk it (given the difficulty in detection). Access invited me down to give a 15min talk to the team about the Auckland environment, which I did. They also walked me through some of their process which are designed to keep the contaminants out of the stormwater system. Most interesting to me was listening to the guys talk about their day while I waited for the meeting to start, they are tasked with cleaning up some really toxic stuff. I put hundreds of hours into helping the environment every year, but these guys can probably make a bigger difference in just a few hours by doing the right thing.
Or what is left of them! Even the oysters are swamped by mud from the Tamaki estuary. Wikipedia needs updating:
“The flatter areas to the west have very large part submerged mussel beds which extent out 100 m (328 ft) from the shore preventing easy landing”.
Now the exposed rocks are surrounded by thick mud.
While I was cleaning up this rusted oil barrel that had been dumped near a stream in Selwyn Bush decades ago, I thought about how “times have changed”. I guess all I need to do is make them change faster.
My son and I were taking photos on the Whau river for an upcoming business pollution prevention campaign, when we found 5 dead ducks, 1 dead Pukeko and this one partially paralysed duck. I called the councils hotline (09 377 310) and they sent someone out straight away, the scientist thinks it’s Avian Botulism. It looks like Pukeko can be affected (NZ Herald Link). So the only things that don’t match are that (as you can see in this photo) the ducks legs were paralysed and it could move its head just fine. Also the water is moving, tho maybe it’s stagnant further upstream. Case #14/0954
UPDATE: Water barely moving upstream (Olympic park).