Before moving to Napier three years ago I wouldn't have been able to tell you where Te Whanganui a Orotū was.
These days I'm lucky to take a weekly walk along its beautiful shores, better known as the Ahuriri Estuary.
A Hawke's Bay Regional Council discussion paper states the 470 hectare site is frequently referred to as a "national treasure", due to its wildlife and fishery values.
It boasts numerous sites of cultural, historic and archaeological significance and thankfully, it's now been identified as one of the six environmental hotspots by council.
There's perspective on offer if you walk it. On its southern industrial frontier there's a sign telling of its former abundance, a kaimoana hotspot so valued wars were once fought over it.
While the sign educating walkers of the mauri and history are a great idea — it's also sobering.
Sobering because it shows how, in a few generations, it's gone from a well-stocked pantry to an ecological slum.
Compare its former abundance with the now wincing build-up of chemicals stored in the estuary's muds after decades of disinterest, and its status as a contingency stormwater repository in the event of heavy rainfall.
It's deflating seeing how far we've devolved in such a relatively short time. Taking anything from the estuary with a view to consuming it is now risky at best, and for the most part, unconscionable.
Its attraction now begins and ends at its aesthetic; the walk and its signs a highlights reel, a museum exhibit of a former self.
How nice (if not aspirational) to think our generation could endeavour to remedy its intergenerational abuse.
That's why local Isabel Morgan, dubbed the "fairy godmother" of the estuary and honoured by Napier council recently with a seat and plaque, should be applauded in her advocacy in protecting the historic amenity.
She claims there's hope that didn't exist five years ago. That's heartening, that's hopeful.
So too, albeit to a lesser extent, the number of local body candidates campaigning on the promise of addressing our litany of water woes.
Election promises are just that, but we've seen fairy godmothers exist - so we can at least continue to hold on to hope.