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Fish provide hook for healthy waterway message

Wednesday, June 19, 2019   Posted in: Signatory Notice Board By: Administrator With tags: environmental health, water

Christchurch City Council Newsline: 18th June 2019

Small blue fish are being used to help raise awareness in Christchurch that the water that runs down our stormwater drains impacts on the health of our streams and rivers.

The blue fish represent the native banded kokopu and longfin eel that make their home in some of Christchurch’s waterways, and have been placed alongside many of the city’s stormwater grates.

They are designed to be a visual reminder to people that the water that flows through the grates ends up in local streams and rivers and impacts on the fish habitat.

“We want people to be aware of how our stormwater system works because hopefully they will then see how small changes in their behaviour can make a big difference to the health of our waterways," says Christchurch City Council Natural Environment Team Leader Dr Clive Appleton.

“Stormwater is any water that falls on roofs, roads, paths and other hard surfaces. It picks up pollutants and litter, flows untreated via drains into local waterways. For example that means that all the detergent you use will eventually end up in a nearby stream or river if you wash your car on your driveway.

“What we want people to know is that there are simple things that they can do to help keep our waterways clean and our fish healthy," Dr Appleton says.

Those simple things include:

  • Washing your car on a lawn or shingle driveway where the soap and dirt can soak into the grass and soil, or at a commercial carwash.
  • When you put your wheelie bins out for collection, check the street gutter outside your property for litter and dispose of it in the correct bin.
  • Brush your driveway clean; never wash it where the water will end up on the road and in the stormwater drain.
  • Do not use cleaners and fertilizers around the home where they can be washed into the stormwater when it rains.

“The fish will love us for it, if we all make an effort to do these things," Dr Appleton says.

Six golden fish will be hidden around Christchurch’s city centre for children to find during KidsFest. Children who find four of the six fish can go online to win prizes including a Hunting and Fishing kids start-up fishing package and one-on-one fishing lesson, Macpac outdoor gear, Orana Wildlife Park family passes, Willowbank Wildlife passes and swim passes for Council pools. The competition is open from 6th to 20th July 2019.

Healthy Christchurch Champions

  • Canterbury District Health Board
  • Christchurch City Council
  • Environment Canterbury
  • Ministry of Health
  • Ngai Tahu
  • NZ Police
  • Pegasus Health
  • University of Otago, Christchurch