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Published: 2013-06-05 00:00:00

Waikato Regional Council is today launching a major new project called The Ripple Effect to help boost involvement in environmental initiatives.

The launch of The Ripple Effect website – www.makearipple.co.nz – is timed to coincide with World Environment Day. 

The website features an upbeat new animation created especially for The Ripple Effect, interactive mapping tools, environmental information and videos. 

“All over the Waikato people are working to create a healthy environment,” said chairman Peter Buckley. 

“At the heart of The Ripple Effect is the idea that when you take action – at home or in your community – you create a ripple that contributes to something bigger, in this case, a healthy environment. 

“Many small positive environmental actions create ripples that collectively add up to a big impact that flows on to our economy and our general wellbeing,” he said. 

The Ripple Effect aims to bring together all those working to protect the region’s environment, with the initial focus being on showcasing Waikato River Authority projects. 

The council’s communications manager Karen Bennett said the website currently featured around 60 groups working to make a difference to the region’s water quality. 

“We’ll continue adding groups over the next few weeks, but hope others will start adding their own stories because ultimately this site is about celebrating all those people throughout our region who are helping to protect amazing places, spaces and species,” she said. 

“Education and information components of the website will include case studies of “local heroes” who are improving the environment, resources for schools, advice for farmers and urban residents, event information and scientific information about river health.” 

A key feature of The Ripple Effect website is its ability to link the organisers of environmental improvement projects with volunteers wanting to get involved. Groups looking for volunteers or funders for a particular project can use the site to promote their project, while those wanting to get involved can sign up to projects that interest them. 

For those who can’t get directly involved in projects or become significant sponsors, they can show their support by giving a big thumbs up to projects. 

While the first phase of the campaign places a heavy emphasis on promoting planting beside waterways to help protect and restore river health, it is expected biodiversity restoration and beach care projects will become part of The Ripple Effect. 

“Essentially we’re creating a virtual meeting space for members of the community who want to work together to protect our environment,” she said. 

“There’s room for everyone so we’d love people to check out the website and see how they can get involved in making their own ripple.” 

Further information is available from www.makearipple.co.nz or call 0800 800 401.