Whitebait, clean ups get funding

Whitebait habitat restoration and engaging young people on river clean-up projects feature in the second funding round of the Waikato River Authority.

The authority has allocated $4,985,009 to 30 projects for the 2012/13 year.

A five year-long project led by NIWA to restore whitebait habitat in the lower Waikato River has been allocated up to $1.5 million. The project is a partnership with others, including the Waikato Raupatu River Trust. Additional co-funding of approximately $1.5 million will give the project a total budget $3 million over the five years.

The project is a comprehensive approach to whitebait restoration including work with local river communities to identify critical habitat issues and migration barriers. Restoration solutions will integrate both traditional maatauranga Maori and contemporary scientific approaches, incorporating existing whitebait projects already underway.

The authority has also ear marked up to $250,000 for growing and planting native trees and grasses to be undertaken by schools in the catchment. One of the projects is being overseen by the Waikato District Council and builds on the involvement of Waipa School, Glen Massey School, Bernard Fergusson School and the Newcastle and Galbraith Street Kindergartens.

Another funded initiative by Trees for Survival Trust and Waikato Regional Council will involve up to 20 schools over two years.

- Hamilton News

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