Hawke’s Bay Regional Council has announced flights will begin today to cover about 87 randomly selected sites in the Tukituki Catchment.
The flights form part of the Council’s State Of the Environment monitoring efforts.
The Council use the aerial imagery to examine stock access to waterways and the extent and condition of riparian vegetation.
“This monitoring helps us gauge how we’re tracking with our strategic goals relating to stock exclusion and planting around waterways,” said Hawke’s Bay Regional Council Senior Scientist, Dr Ashton Eaves.
“Through stratified random sampling, we visit 281 monitoring sites in different catchments throughout the region on a four to five year rotation – this year we are resurveying the Tukituki Catchment.
“Riparian zones are the area between the land and the waterways. When well-maintained they can act as a crucial buffer trapping nutrients, sediment and bacteria before they enter the water,” says Dr Eaves.
“These zones will have been significantly impacted by Cyclone Gabrielle, so the flights allow us to assess any damage to these zones and the fencing that had been put in place to protect it.”
The flights are expected to be completed by the end of the week depending on the weather.
The information will be analysed as part of ongoing environmental monitoring, and to help Catchment Advisors support landowners in their efforts to improve water quality through sustainable land management practices, the Council said in a statement.