Saving the Godwits by Keith Woodley - Public meeting 25th of June 2016
Keith Woodley is the full-time manager of the Miranda Shorebird Centre, on the Firth of Thames. Keith has an intense knowledge of the shorebird migration flyway, become the go-to expert on the godwit, and visited key sites in Australia, Alaska, China and Korea.
This was a two hour public workshop organised by the Avon-Heathcote Estuary Ihutai Trust.
The purpose of the workshop was for the Trust to establish a vision for the future of the estuary edge. This is considered to be important at this time because of the reconstruction activity around the estuary.
Three speakers addressed various aspects such as the impacts of sea-level rise (Mark Ivamy, Tonkin &Taylor), coastal resilience (Dr Helen Rouse, NIWA) and how to increase resilience with natural defences such as sand dunes and wetlands (Rodney Chambers, Coastal/Plains Head Ranger, Christchurch City Council).
There were 62 attendees. Some of them left when the speakers had finished. But approximately 45 then broke into 4 working groups to share ideas and to develop a vision for the future.
From the discussions in each of the groups and from individual vision statements the following conclusions can be made;
There is strong support for retaining or restoring a natural edge to the estuary enhancing recreational opportunities such as cycling, walking and access for water sports ensuring the edge is protected from damage caused by flooding or sea-level rise.
For the full report of this workshop please click here.