Horizons Regional Council has awarded over $65,000 in community grants for the Whangaehu catchment this year.
The Ngā Wai Ora o te Whangaehu grants programme is awarded to groups working towards protecting and enhancing the Whangaehu catchment.
The grants are provided through the Ministry for the Environment's Freshwater Improvement Fund. Horizons provides co-funding, oversees delivery of on-the-ground work and undertakes the administration.
They are one part of a Freshwater Improvement Fund for the Whangaehu catchment that is also supporting stream fencing and riparian planting projects.
Those eligible for the grants include schools, iwi and hapū, and catchment care groups.
Horizons group manager natural resources and partnerships Dr Jon Roygard said there was $69,000 available and the panel granted more than $66,000 to eight projects.
"The amount granted includes the continuation of a two-year grant given to Makaranui Whanau, and Winiata Campsite Trust in 2019 for restoration and protection of Taonui Stream, and the tuna reserve at Makaranui," Roygard said.
"Much of the Whangaehu catchment covers rural landscape that doesn't otherwise receive much attention in terms of river access."
One of the grant winners was Raetihi Promotions Charitable Trust. Spokeswoman Donna Journeaux said the grant would allow them to complete the Mātōtuku Stream walkway and put up signage identifying fish and birds in the area.
"Working with the Horizons' freshwater team, along with the grant money received over the last three years, has enabled us to complete this project. The planting and signage makes this a lovely spot for locals and visitors."
This year's funding was awarded to:
Ethical Waste, Waimarino Recycling Centre: Stormwater clean-up. The grant will be used to capture contaminants before they reach waterways and raise community awareness of wastewater pollution; including education around work such as removing plastics from stormwater drains.
Friends of the Mangawhero walkway, Ohakune 2000 Inc – for removal of problem willows on the Mangawhero River.
Lower Whangaehu Catchment – to establish a Lower Whangaehu wetland.
Mō Te Katoa Marae Trust - Ngā Manākitanga o te Mākōtuku for riparian enhancement on the Mākōtuku Stream.
Papakainga Marae - Nga Mokai Tokiahuru for riparian enhancement on the Tokiahuru Stream.
Pauro Marino Trust – for the Pauro Marino fencing and walkway project, riparian enhancement and walking track establishment on the Mangawhero River.
Raetihi Promotions Charitable Trust – for the Mākōtuku walkway establishment and further enhancement of the riparian area along the Mākōtuku Stream through Raetihi.
Ruapehu College – for the Makaranui monitoring and Restoration Education programme.