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Monday, 21 January 2019 12:59 am

Council: seaweed not marine reserve’s fault

Oct 21st, 2008 | By | Category: Latest News, News

Seaweed and driftwood that has built up along the Island Bay Coast is not a result of the Taputeranga reserve, says the Wellington City Council.

Nothing has changed in terms of maintenance since the reserve was established in August, says the council in reponse to a Dominion Post article (October 17, right), which implied the build-up is caused by the new marine reserve’s rules forbidding anyone taking anything from the beach.

Seaweed has not been removed from the beach for many years and is a perfectly normal occurrence on the beach, says council parks and gardens manager Paul Andrews, who lives in Island Bay.

“Very occasionally after a severe southerly storm in summer, or when there is an event like a Big Dig planned, we have shifted seaweed to another part of the beach, but this is not done routinely,” he says.

“The reality is, this beach is on the South Coast and regularly has seaweed deposited on it.  It wouldn’t make economic sense to go in after every southerly blow and try to keep it seaweed-free, and that has certainly not been our practice.”

The new marine reserve applies only on the seaward side of the highest high-tide mark, so the council can move seaweed and driftwood that is above that point and will do so if there is a particular issue, or a clear space is required.

The council also occasionally re-distributes sand that has built up against the seawall and this will continue.

Mr Andrews says seaweed in the tidal zone – between the high and low-tide marks – usually disappears with the next high tide.

“It’s important that nature is left to take its course, because seaweed does play an important role in the food chain and also aids sand retention.”

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