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Educational family day out on the Manukau

Updated: Apr 22

On the 24th of March, after a rainy Saturday, the weather cleared up and 76 participants joined us bright and early at Māngere bridge to get onto the water and learn about their local taiao. We had beautiful calm conditions to showcase the Manukau Harbour and spot some of the birdlife that frequents the area.

Maddie from FOF gives a talk on one of the beaches at Ambury Farm.

We partnered with Friends of the Farm, Whitebait Connection/ Wai Connection, Auckland Sea Kayaks and ME family services in order to showcase the local catchment, wildlife and how to look after this special part of Tāmaki Makaurau.

The awesome crew from Auckland Sea Kayaks led a guided kayak next to Ambury Farm, with on water commentary from Janine and Maddie representing Friends of the Farm, as well as Callum and Sophie from Experiencing Marine Reserves. Participants spotted pied shags, white faced herons, oyster catchers and kōtare/kingfishers whilst paddling, with many learning to kayak for the first time. From the kayaks we were able to explore mānawa /mangroves as well as sandy/shell beaches. Both of these habitats play an important role in the local ecology for shorebirds as well as juvenile fish and bivalves. This area is a critical shore and sea bird nesting area and participants were able to learn how to do their bit to keep this fragile habitat safe and protected. This was put into action when a juvenile black back gull/karoro was found with a fish hook stuck in it's mouth. Thanks to EMR volunteer Rosh, the gull was delivered to Bird Care Aotearoa to be cared for. If you would like to support the important mahi the Bird Care do you can donate here.

Glassy conditions as the kayakers leave the boat ramp

A red-breasted dotterel

On land we had Anastasia from Whitebait Connection/ Wai Connection leading a freshwater monitoring workshop, where participants learnt what lives in their local waterways and how to better protect these important freshwater habitats. It was great to see lots of conversation and engagement on this topic from the local community that attended.

Reactions to the results of the water quality tests carried out.

We also had Becky from Experiencing Marine Reserves showing off the Taonga box full of wonderful marine creatures to get up close too, a big hit with both kids and adults!

Kids coming face to face with a puffer fish while drying off after their kayak session.

A big thank you to our event funders Tū Manawa Active Aotearoa and The Bobby Stafford Bush Foundation and Ministry for the Environment as well as our event partners Auckland Sea Kayaks, Whitebait Connection/Wai Connection, Friends of the Farm and ME Family Services. Of course our events also would not be possible without our awesome team of volunteers!

Rhonda one of EMR's dedicated volunteers helping kayakers out of the water.

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