On Saturday, CVNZ Christchurch joined 825 volunteers from various groups on a rubbish collection day to clean-up the Heathcote Estuary. The Heathcote Estuary is one of New Zealand’s most important wetlands because it is a sanctuary for breeding fish and migratory birds. A grand total of 488 bags of rubbish were collected from the estuary edges and along the Avon and Heathcote rivers – weighing in at around 3.6 tonnes. This was less than last year’s 5 tonnes, or the 20 tonnes of 3 years ago. This reduction is mainly due to rubbish booms that have been installed on the rivers, which have collected more than 75 tonnes of rubbish floating down the rivers. The rubbish picked up on the day included sixty-one tyres, four Korean passports and a shopping trolley.
A huge thank you to our hard working local volunteers, as well as English language students from CCEL and students from Lake Superior State University in the US. Without the time of our dedicated volunteers, it would be impossible to take on these types of projects and do so much conservation work for vulnerable areas. CVNZ Christchurch is responsible for organising the clean up along the Avon Ōtākaro River for this annual event, collaborating with Avon-Heathcote Estuary Ihutai Trust, Ōpāwaho Heathcote River Network and Avon-Ōtākaro Network. Sponsors and supporters included City Care Ltd, Cassells Brewery and Christchurch City Council.