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A collaboration of Waitakere community groups will be supported with a $281,865 grant for their work to monitor and make restoration plans for local wetlands and waterways, including the Epping Wetland which has high ecological values.

Associate Environment Minister Scott Simpson today announced the grant provided through the Community Environment Fund to Community Waitakere Charitable Trust for their Ngā Puna Manaaki Wahapu project.

“The exciting aspect of this project is the very high level of local engagement and cooperation that’s happening.  This project has schools, community groups, iwi, businesses and council staff working together to collect data about wetland sites, evaluate results and identify opportunities for improvement. Then actively participate in community restoration and mitigation activities,” Mr Simpson says

“I’m also really impressed by the level of individual commitment.  These aren’t scientists or experts, these are people from all walks of life. They’re local businesses and community groups. They learn how to do the monitoring, they learn how wetlands work and how to run a restoration project.  This is citizen science at its best and I am thrilled to see so many people involved.”

This is a three year project that has received in kind contributions made by Morphum Environmental Limited, Auckland Council, ACG Sunderland School and Rutherford College.

The Community Environment Fund provides funding to empower New Zealanders to take environmental action. It supports projects that strengthen partnerships, raise public awareness of environmental issues, and encourage community participation in environmental initiatives. The fund has awarded more than $12 million to environmental projects since 2010.

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