There are several ways that you can help to maintain and improve coastal water quality in Northland.
· Report any coastal water pollution to the Regional Council environmental hotline on 0800 504 639, including fuel, oil and chemical spills.
· Keep stormwater drains for the rain. Do not tip any chemicals, detergents, paints, oils or fuels down stormwater drains, as these all empty to our rivers, harbours and beaches without any treatment.
If you are recreational or commercial boat user make sure that:
· You comply with the Marine Pollution Regulations at all times. It is illegal to discharge untreated sewage within harbours, inlets and estuaries in Northland. Information about these regulations including maps can be obtained from any Regional Council office or by phoning 0800 002 004.
· You do not cause a fuel or oil spill. Any spills of fuel or oil from your boat should be cleaned up with special sorbent material, which can be purchased from marine suppliers. Keep your bilge water clean. Clean up any fuel or oil floating on bilge water.
· Prevent spills when refuelling. Plug the scuppers with rags whenever possible and keep sorbent material handy to mop up spills. Whenever possible refuel at an approved area, using a fuel pump.
· You keep your boat bottom clean, to prevent the spread of marine pest plants and animals. Clean the hull regularly disposing of any debris safely to land and use antifouling paint appropriately. Ensure your hull is clean before moving to a new location in New Zealand.
· Likewise ship operators should ensure that their ship ballast water and hulls are clean to prevent the spread of unwanted organisms.
For more information refer to the ‘marine pollution regulations'.
If you are farmer or landowner:
· Restrict stock access to waterways or the CMA including estuaries, beaches, rivers and lakes.
· If practical fence these areas off and establish riparian vegetation to reduce the amount of sediment, nutrients and bacteria entering our waterways and coastal environment.
For more information contact a Land Management Officer at the Regional Council on 0800 002 004.