A Waikato environmentalist who led a public campaign against poor winter grazing practices on Southland farms says farmers are making improvements.
The money is some of national grants totalling $44m from the Government.
One of the council’s projects, to lift water quality and enhance the habitat at Lake Whangape, has received $900,000. This $2.8m project is a joint effort by the council, DOC, Waikato-Tainui, Waahi Whaanui Trust and Nga Muka Development Trust.
The other project, getting a $740,000 boost, is a partnership between the regional council and Pūniu River Care Inc to improve water quality on a 16km stretch of the Pūniu River.
“We appreciate this Government funding which will help us greatly at Whangape and for the Pūniu,” said council chair Alan Livingston.
“We have a strong focus on boosting water quality in our region in partnership with others.”
At Lake Whangape, sedimentation and nutrient loading from intensive dairying, coupled with aggressive spread of alligator weed, has led to a decline in the water quality and habitat. The project is aimed at restoring the health of the lake and associated wetlands. Work will include fencing to exclude stock, revegetation of lake margins and wetlands, accelerated alligator weed containment and implementation of a kaitiaki monitoring framework.
Meanwhile the work at the Pūniu River, valued at $2m, is aimed at improving water quality and helping restore indigenous fish habitat and land biodiversity.
Activities include riparian fencing to exclude stock, erosion protection works and the planting of 160,000 native trees.
A bilingual guide for marae-based restoration will be prepared.