Karamea Estuary Enhancement Project – KEEP
Kaiawhina o te Wahapuu Karamea
Off the Top of my Head
By Paul Murray for KEEP
A productive morning by local volunteers working on the Karamea Estuary Enhancement Project (KEEP) on December 8, 2015 resulted in the erection of a new information board at the northern end of the walkway and a picnic table at the Ray Street entrance.
The new information board has historical information about the Karamea River Harbour from 1894 to the 1930s, including flood protection work carried out after the 1929 Murchison Earthquake and also about the nearby pippi shell midden created by transient Maori who camped at the site over many generations as they travelled down the West Coast to trade with other Maori communities further south.
Financial assistance for this work was gratefully received from the Department of Conservation (DOC), Holcim, the Karamea Historical Society and the Buller District Council.
KEEP was founded in 2006 and is a joint project between the community volunteer group and DOC to “preserve, enhance and promote the historic and natural values of the Karamea Estuary and surrounds.” Project achievements to date include improved access to the estuary by the construction of a walkway around the Karamea Estuary, significant tree planting and revegetation work along the pathways, the erection of information boards detailing the Maori, European and Ecological history of the region, the placement of historically significant and interesting artefacts along the pathway and the construction of benches and picnic tables.
Small information plates have also been placed near trees and shrubs planted along the path detailing their botanical and common names, so the walk is now not only pleasurable, but also educational as you can brush up on your local history, ancient Roman language and botany along the way.
Ongoing work by the KEEP group includes pest control, tree planting, weed management, track maintenance and ecological monitoring.
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