Funding available for BOP environmentalists

File image/SunLive.

Community groups have three months left to apply for funding for projects that aim to enhance, preserve or protect the Bay of Plenty's natural or historic character.

The grants are available through the Bay of Plenty Regional Council Environmental Enhancement fund, with up to $25,000 per project available.

Regional council chairman Doug Leeder says the fund has helped many different groups across the Bay of Plenty over the last 20 years.

"Our Bay of Plenty community is made up of so many knowledgeable environmentalists filled with innovative ideas.

"These volunteers are the backbone of what makes our region thrive so this fund is one way we can support them in doing their crucial work."

This fund is open to those who want to improve the environment, raise environmental awareness and use enthusiasm and skills of the community, says Doug.

In the last year, the fund has supported a diverse range of projects across the region including a giant sea bin for the Tauranga Bridge Marina, solar panels for Te Puke High School and wetland planting at the Awatapu Lagoon in Whakatane.

Doug says council is also constantly looking at ways to adapt and mitigate the changing climate the BOP sees on a daily basis and is keen to hear from the local community on projects that could lessen those changes.

Tauranga Bridge Marina was able to secure an ocean sea bin for the marina in 2020 through the fund in 2019.

Marina operations and services co-ordinator Anna Barnes says they were always keen to look into different environmental initiatives and bring awareness to the micro plastics that float within Tauranga Harbour to boaties, marina users and the wider community.

On any given day, the sea bin could collect everything from general rubbish, micro plastics and even things like jandals, she says.

The Mount Manganui College Environmental Group then collected the "rubbish" and lodged its data with the World Data Index.

To qualify for the grant the project must be on public land, or land with public access, needs to contribute towards environmental enhancement, help develop community awareness and encourage community participation.

More information on the fund can be found on the regional council website

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