Bay Conservation Alliance: big aspirations for nature conservation

Minister Hon. Eugenie Sage and Bay Conservation Alliance CEO Michelle Elborn

Bay Conservation Alliance launched on Friday 21st September 2018 as part of National Conservation Week and with the support of Conservation Minister Hon. Eugenie Sage.

Founded by four Western Bay Community Conservation groups – Maketu Ongatoro Wetland Society, Otanewainuku Kiwi Trust, Aongatete Forest Project and the Uretara Estuary Managers, Bay Conservation Alliance has been set up to support and grow community led environmental restoration and nature conservation. Newer members include Te Whakakaha Trust and Friends of the Blade.

“We are about harnessing the power and enthusiasm of small community groups, agencies and the wider community to develop bigger landscape-scale conservation projects” said Julian Fitter, Chair of Bay Conservation Alliance. “It is about joining the dots across both community groups and landscapes, by taking a smart regional approach to restoring nature and lightening the load by providing groups with shared support services.”

The launch event marked the first year of operation. Bay Conservation now invites others to get involved. If you operate a community conservation group Bay Conservation offers support services in areas such as administration, communication & marketing, nature education, fundraising and project management. And for individual’s wanting to get conservation news, volunteer or attend events, why not sign up to the new ‘Friends of Bay Conservation’ programme.

The launch was well attended by a range of community groups, agencies, Iwi and funders and featured words of encouragement from Hon. Eugenie Sage, BOPRC Deputy Chair Jane Nees and DOC Operations Manager Jeff Milham.

Minister Hon. Eugenie Sage & the Bay Conservation Alliance team

“Recognising DOC cannot do it alone, the groundswell in community groups wanting to contribute to the restoration and improved health and management of the ngahere is growing. Bay Conservation Alliance is one of the first of its kind around Aotearoa to recognise the need for the administrative support required to achieve this. Good planning, meeting legal requirements, having sufficient funds and increasing capability are the backbone of every successful project. Bay Conservation Alliance is providing that backbone and allowing those that prefer the ‘hands on’ conservation work to do the best job they can” – Jeff Milham, Operations Manager, Dept of Conservation Tauranga District

Our natural environment in the Western Bay of Plenty is one of our greatest assets, however there are pressures ranging from pest invasions, plant diseases, sedimentation, pollution and habitat loss that means nature needs our help.

Bay Conservation believes that by empowering communities to restore nature, together we can enrich our natural environment for the benefit of people and nature.

For more information visit: www.bayconservation.nz

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