New campaign to protect Whangamata Bar
The Whangamata Bar Association Inc. with the support of Surfbreak Protection Society (SPS) have launched a campaign to protect Whangamata Bar, a unique seascape feature for the amenity value of surfing.
The campaign addresses concerns regarding the dredging practices associated with a new marina in the harbour. Local groups and iwi believe this may be generating impacts on biological communities including kai moana beds, which the new marina access channel dissects. The Bar itself is an ebb-tide delta and a world-class surfing resource of huge importance to the local community and economy. SPS is particularly concerned about possible effects on wave quality. SPS consider that the council has not listened to them with regard to what science is needed to monitor surfing wave quality at Whangamata Bar, and that the simple monitoring plan put forward by the marina society will never be able to observe changes in surfing wave quality.
Monitoring the Whangamata Bar for any long term adverse effects was a condition of the consent granted by the Council in 2006. To address this, the new petition is calling for scientific assessment of the impact of dredging on the Whangamata Bar.
The campaign pages give a good background to the story so far, plus links to other resources on the subject. These and the petition are available here: http://onebigvoice.com/petition/save-the-whangamata-bar