Nearly three weeks after Cyclone Gita hit, I decided to have a peak at a favorite spot on the Marahau River near Abel Tasman National Park. What I found was not what I remember. The river has been significantly silted up by extreme rainfall exacerbated by irresponsible land use.
The adjacent valleys within the national park are still running clear and pristine. Yes, this was a natural event, but the shear volume of sediment that came down has been immense. These events are forecasted to increase in regularity and intensity, and our leaders and communities should be planning for this. For the last two years, I have watched the river get gradually shallower, as sediment is washed down from the Separation Point Granite hillsides. This has coincided with the harvest of Radiata pine in the catchments of Otuwhero and Marahau. This is not the sole reason for the silt, driveways, pasture, any disturbance of the land all play their part in the process.
Marahau’s ecosystem urgently requires rehabilitation, the first jobs to do are to secure and tidy the damage. The next job is to stabilize the land again. This is where we fit in. The right species must be planted in the right places. The Abel Tasman Tree Collective is thinking ahead. We have already ascertained the correct species for the job, orders must be placed now for our first planting in June. This work needs to be done in all the affected valleys. However, we are starting close to home as it seems like the right place to start.
If you are interested in helping us heal the land you can like our ABEL TASMAN TREE COLLECTIVE FACEBOOK PAGE for updates on our projects and tree planting opportunities.
If you would like to donate money to this worthy cause CLICK HERE TO DONATE TO PLANTING NATIVE TREES.
For details on how to become a corporate sponsor of Abel Tasman Tree Collective, please email our manager Helen Forsey – firstname.lastname@example.org