The Long Bay Okura Marine Reserve needs your help. The cockle and pipi beds in the Okura Estuary and Karepiro Bay were virtually wiped out in 2018. Sediment discharges from housing development, exacerbated by heavy rain, were the suspected cause, smothering shellfish and affecting their ability to feed. The effects of their loss are potentially profound.
The Reserve is a haven not only for marine life, where the mullet jump and snapper feed on shellfish, crabs and shrimps. It’s also a sanctuary for native birds. Godwits fly in from Siberia for the southern summer, and endangered New Zealand dotterels breed on the sandy spit in the Estuary and along Karepiro Bay. These birds along with their fellow residents, oyster catchers, pied stilts and herons, depend on the marine resources for nourishment. If their food disappears, so will they.
Please help us by making a donation which will enable us to contract experts for advice, monitoring, testing and technical support, so we can help protect this amazing area.
It’s more than 20 years and four Environment Court cases since the Long Bay - Okura Great Park Society began the struggle to protect the Marine Reserve. In 1996 and 2003 the Society defended two cases focused on ensuring protection of the Okura Estuary. Fortunately these cases were decided in favour of protection. Then in 2005, the Society began another long and ultimately successful battle to buffer development away from the Long Bay Regional Park. More recently, in 2018, the Environment Court ruled against intense urbanisation of the Okura Estuary’s southern shores. We are grateful to our supporters and devoted members who raised the $300,000 we needed for lawyers and experts to be part of this court battle.
Regardless of that outcome, our agenda, to protect the Marine Reserve and ensure adequate legal provisions exist to prevent further outbreaks of pollution, will continue. The Society is constantly vigilant, monitoring and recording water quality and observing sites where pollutants could leach into the Marine Reserve.
We know it’s worth it because we understand the significance for the city of this beautiful semi-wilderness environment. By giving even a little you enable us to keep working on long-term and effective protection of this unique area.