Big Blue Waitākere, a coastal and marine information report was launched in Glen Eden by the Waitākere Ranges Local Board at a community hui on the 20th of June, to showcase the publication of this valuable resource and seek input from the community on local projects. The aim of this hui was to engage and connect different community groups within the Waitākere Ranges Local Board area, with the common goal of finding ways to work together to protect and restore the Waitākere Ranges marine environment.
The hui kicked off with Morphum Environmental Director Damian Young and Environmental Scientist Cat Davis giving a presentation introducing the report, which promotes the sustainable and adaptive management of our marine environment, by collating existing information, identifying gaps and specific actions. The visually engaging report has a communication style designed to appeal to a wide audience, including the board, local communities and the public.
The floor was opened for questions like “How are we going to prioritise these actions?” and “How do we see this moving forward in the future”. Further to this, data regarding recreational fish data was shared and the group broke out into smaller interest groups for freshwater quality, coastal water quality, marine biodiversity and coastal land-use. Representatives from Morphum Environmental, the Waitākere Ranges Local Board, and Auckland Council facilitated the discussion on local projects, main issues of concern, priorities for making changes and any multi-benefit actions to address these concerns.
Cat Davis, author of the Big Blue Waitākere report said “it is great to have this out in the public forum and to see the Waitākere Ranges community work together to prioritise some of the key issues in the local marine environment. Water quality and the swimmability of beaches were key issues that came out of the workshop. Six of the seven beaches within the Manukau Harbour are closed for swimming and three of the four lagoons on the West Coast have long-term no swimming warnings in place”.