A Tauranga estuary care group is struggling for volunteers and is on the hunt for new helpers.

Waimapu Estuary Care Group were promoting muddy fun and a healthier harbour to lure new recruits and would be holding an open day for locals this Sunday.

The group were looking for new recruits on a casual or regular basis to help care for the local estuary, doing things like removing rubbish and controlling mangrove seedlings, near Fraser Cove and College Place.

"We're a bunch of ordinary locals that are trying hard to care for our local estuary, but we're struggling for numbers and we need some help," Waimapu Estuary Care Group leader Stuart Greenshields said.


The group holds volunteer working bees about twice a year.

"Everyone enjoys walking around, boating on, or looking at the harbour. Anyone can help keep their harbour healthy by joining us for a few hours either in the estuary or by assisting with administration work and committee roles.

"It's great fun and a nice way to meet some of your neighbours," Mr Greenshields said.

Mr Greenshields said that since the group started removing rubbish and controlling mangrove spread several years ago, wildlife in the estuary has improved.

More diverse bird life had been seen including pied stilts, oyster catchers, terns, herons and even a spotless crake.

"The fish life has improved too," he said.

The open day would be held this Sunday, July 17. Locals were invited to enjoy a sausage sizzle, spot prizes and find out what estuary care was all about.

The event is being held from 10 am to 12 noon at Fraser Street Reserve, on the corner of Lloyd and Fraser Streets, opposite the Fraser Cove Shopping Centre.

Anyone who could not attend the open day but would like to get involved should call the Bay of Plenty Regional Council Estuary Care Officer Katrina Browne on 0800 884 881 extension 8357 or visit www.boprc.govt.nz/estuary care for more information.