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Published: 2005-06-22 00:00:00

Environment Waikato is to ask the Hauraki Gulf Forum to consider the Firth of Thames and its catchment as a strategic project for developing an integrated catchment management plan. 

This week the Council’s Environment Committee heard an update on the Firth’s internationally recognised Ramsar wetland site status, and was asked to help facilitate development of a plan for its sustainable management for the Forum to implement. Thames-Coromandel, Franklin and Hauraki district councils are also supporting the request.

Ecoquest, an independent science and policy education foundation, has just published “Muddy Feet” – a comprehensive report on the Firth’s ecosystem focusing on the internationally recognised wetland. The report was supported by an Environment Waikato Environmental Initiatives Grant.

Ecoquest representative Bill Brownell said the report looked at interactions of key forces in the Firth, such as tides, sedimentation, coastal erosion, vegetation, statutory management, fisheries, farming, aquaculture and migratory birds, to achieve a greater understanding of the function and evolution of the marine ecosystem. It also identified gaps in existing knowledge.

He said Environment Waikato’s support and recognition of the study and its recommendation to the Forum that it consider an integrated management plan was considered essential.
Copies of the Muddy Feet report are available from Environment Waikato.