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Exploring Waimanawa from the Mountains to the Sea

Kayakers exploring the Waimanawa coastline

As part of the Wai Connection project in Tāmaki Makaurau our Experiencing Marine Reserves (EMR) and Whitebait Connection (WBC) crew teamed up to deliver the Explore Waimanawa/Little Shoal Bay event, to help locals experience their local environment from the mountains to the sea. In partnership with the Friends of Le Roys Bush, Pest Free Kaipātiki and Auckland Sea Kayaks we were able to showcase the Waimanawa catchment to 60 locals.

Local whānau enjoying their paddle around the bay

Participants getting an all important safety breifing from event organiser Sophie Journee

During the event locals were guided along the Waimanawa coastline via kayak by the EMR and Auckland Sea Kayaks crew, spotting kāruhiruhi/pied shag, tara/white fronted terns, manawa/mangroves, kotare/kingfisher and more. During their paddle participants learnt about the local ecology as well as the challenges facing the catchment including cliff erosion, sedimentation, wildlife entanglement, waste water pollution, and coastal rubbish to name a few. Many participants were also learning to kayak for the first time and gained more confidence and safety skills on the water.

Left - Paddlers enjoying a close up view of the harbour bridge, Middle - Pied shag caught in fishing line, Right - Paddlers returning from their on water adventure

After a good paddle session locals were then lead on a guided walk through Le Roys bush by Wai Connection coordinator Amy Sadler and members of the Friends of Le Roys Bush. Before heading into the ngahere everyone cleaned their footwear in order to prevent the spread of kauri die back. This was followed by a lovely stroll up the catchment with stops along the way to learn about how the community group carries out water testing, fish surveys and inanga spawning monitoring.

Some feedback from participants include:

"Very informative and fun activity. I enjoyed learning about the water testing like measuring dissolved oxygen and finding freshwater shrimp live in the stream!" Eileen Yeoh

"I loved the kayak experience, the guides were very helpful and I gained a lot more knowledge about marine biodiversity. I would definitely love to do it again!!!" Tifannie Thien

"The bush walk was very informative and well presented, great knowledgeable crew who were very friendly. The day was very well organised and I loved the kayaking, thank you so much!" Ryan Price

Whānau testing the water clarity of Waimanawa with the help of Wai Connection coordinator Amy Sadler

This event would not be possible without our generous event funders the Kaipātiki Local Board, Ministry for the Environment, Tū Manawa Active Aotearoa and the Bobby Stafford Bush Foundation. As well as the epic volunteers from EMR, WBC and Friends of Le Roys Bush, and our awesome local student photographer Simon Lu, who captured some great drone footage.

Left - locals learning about the native fish that call Waimanawa home, Middle - Paddlers getting ready to launch at Little Shoal Bay, Right - locals learning about the restoration work happening in the catchment

If you are keen to join us on future events we will have several over winter so make sure to follow us and check out our event page on Eventbrite to register.

Super excited paddlers returning from their exploration of the Waimanawa coastline

If you would like to support our organisation and help us reach more people with our marine and freshwater engagement initiates, you can donate or sign up as a volunteer below.

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