Otiake Wetland in the Waitaki Valley has recently undergone some much-needed restoration work thanks to funding assistance from Environment Canterbury’s Immediate Steps Programme.
The restoration work is being coordinated by the Department of Conservation, which is managing the wetland in partnership with landowner Kate White.
Lorraine Cook, DOC Flora Ranger, says the wetland is one of the best remaining habitats of its type in the Lower Waitaki. “It is also home to a number of native species including longfin eel and remnant native plants such as raupo, toi toi and Carex secta.”
“It has been a very amicable partnership between us and DOC,” Kate White said. “We love the wetland and get a lot of pleasure out of it. There are white swans that come and go, herons and other birds including two groups of pukekos that don’t mix!”
Controlling invasive willows and other weeds has been a focus of the restoration work, as well as erecting fencing to exclude stock and planting native plants.
The wetlands not only provide important habitat for native species, they also protect downstream water quality by trapping sediment and absorbing nutrients.
The project received $32,000 in Immediate Steps funding and $16,000 from DOC.
More funding available
The Lower Waitaki – South Coastal Canterbury Water Management Committee has $100,000 in Immediate Steps funding to distribute each year towards biodiversity projects in the area.
If you have an idea for a project, or would like more information about funding, contact Sam Shannon (Environment Canterbury Biodiversity Officer) on 03 687 7809, or apply online at www.ecan.govt.nz/advice/biodiversity/funding