August Newsletter

Aquatic Life

Collaboration & Partnership

Community Catchment Plan

Community Wellbeing


Healthy Ecosystems

Jobs For Nature

Risks to our Catchment

Take Action

Te Taiao

WAI Action Groups

Water Quality

Image of people at an event with the words August 2023 on it as a banner
Matariki 2023 by Deanna Gerlach

Is the health of our lakes changing?

When it comes to the deep lakes of our region, caring for the unseen can be challenging. Monitoring the health of our freshwater is important for tracking changes over time. 

We’re on the lookout for keen volunteers to get out on the water with us to collect data. Explore, learn, and be part of a positive change for our aquatic ecosystems.

“The lake is such an important part of life here in Wānaka – I was stoked to get the chance to learn about the health of our waterways, and what can be done to protect them.”

– WAI Wānaka Volunteer Ash

kayak by the lake

Our Drains are Streams banner

Keeping our waterways healthy in winter

“Only rain down the storm drain.”

We’ve just released our Adopt a Drain Winter Newsletter, full of tips and tricks for keeping stormwater pollution out of our fresh water. 

The winter newsletter focuses on a pollutant that often falls under the radar….click here to learn more.

Aquatic Pests banner

‘Check, Clean, Dry’ more important than ever

Aquatic pests (invasive species) pose a big threat to our waterways. In May this year, an invasive mollusc, known as the freshwater gold clam (Corbicula fluminea), was discovered in the Waikato River.

If introduced to our lakes and rivers, the freshwater gold clam has the ability to clog infrastructure, damage vessels, outcompete native species (such as kākahi) and turn lake edges into ‘clam pavements’.

Image of Gold Clams in comparison to a NZ two dollar coin

The discovery of the freshwater gold clam serves as a reminder to check, clean, dry all vessels and equipment when moving from one catchment to another.

Farmers working towards biodiversity goals

Farmers throughout our catchment are taking the lead by monitoring biodiversity on their land, collecting data to support land management decisions that consider biodiversity, biosecurity and freshwater goals.

One important aspect of biodiversity monitoring is assessing the health of the soil. This is achieved through visual soil assessments (VSA).

Supported by WAI Wānaka, Rick McNeilly and Erin Cheng of Mt Grand Station recently completed six visual soil assessments throughout the farm.

With further funding from MPI just announced, We are pleased to be able to continue to support landowners with biodiversity & freshwater monitoring, as well as other workstreams such as planting, plant maintenance, and pest and weed control.

Click here to learn more.

We’ve created a #hashtag on Instagram to showcase the environmental initiatives farmers throughout our communities have been completing. Search #uppercluthafarming to see for yourself.

WAI in the Community banner

Join us for some exciting upcoming events

Monthly Secchi Disk workshops on the lake – email to express interest in our next outing.

6 September Land use diversification and market opportunities workshop for rural landowners – email for more info.

14 October 10:30am – 1:30pm – Microplastics Community Event on the Wānaka Lakefront  *stay tuned for more details.

silhouettes of people, birds and trees

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