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Published: 2010-09-30 00:00:00

Environment Waikato has awarded $7,000 from its Environmental Initiatives Fund (EIF) towards an education initiative aimed at protecting native fish, and a coastal community planting program.

The council has awarded $4,000 to Landcare Trust for the printing of factsheets on native fish protection.

Landcare Trust is participating in a one year sustainable management project called "Hooked on Native Fish," which aims to raise awareness about New Zealand fish, and what rural and urban communities can do to protect their local streams.

A series of six factsheets provide easy to read information on native fish, how to improve in-stream habitat and riparian enhancement, as well as covering stream management in urban and rural environments.

The factsheets have proved popular with schools, streamcare groups and the Department of Conservation. The EIF grant will fund printing of 1,000 high quality information sheets for wider distribution.

Councillors noted the factsheets are a useful environmental education tool, especially for schools, as they provide practical steps everyone can take to help protect threatened fish.

The council also awarded funding of $3,000 to the Horongarara Residents Association for weed control and replanting at the Te Akau Wharf Road Reserve.

Te Akau Wharf Road Reserve is owned by Waikato District Council. The reserve has an outstanding rock formation and a public walking track. The planting program, initiated by the Horongarara Residents Association and supported by the district council, has a team of 20 local volunteers who help with planting and ongoing maintenance.

The money granted will be used to purchase 360 locally sourced native trees to be planted at the reserve. Using local trees increases the likelihood of survival in that coastal location.

The council acknowledged both projects fit well with the EIF criteria and support a number of Environment Waikato’s objectives around enhancing water quality, sustainable land use, biodiversity and public engagement

The Environmental Initiatives Fund has provided about $172,000 to environmental and community projects throughout the year.