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Woody debris clean-up progress

woody debris 1

Key recreational areas and traditional fishing zones have been mostly cleared of woody debris, with around 50,000m3 of debris recovered from Wairoa’s beaches and riverbanks.

The massive recovery effort to remove woody debris dumped on coastlines, river mouths and recreational areas due to Cyclone Gabrielle started in the middle of last year with a focus on providing safe recreational areas along the coastline, river mouths, beaches and bridges.

Stockpiles of woody debris have been mulched, carted away and in most locations the debris has been burnt. The disposal method differs at the various sites, focusing on minimising fire risk and remobilisation of material. Around 30,000m3 of woody debris has been cleared to date, leaving around 20,000m3, predominantly in mulch and stockpiles, still to be dealt with.

Most of the clearing has been completed at Waikare and Mohaka Beaches and in the Wairoa township along Kopu Rod and Pilot Hill.

At Whakamahi Beach, around 5,000m3 of debris has been stockpiled into about 20 piles above the high tide mark on the beach and the adjacent reserve. These piles will likely be burned while working in a partnership with FENZ.

At Mahia, Opoutama, and Taylor’s Bay, around 70% of the recovery work has been completed, with continued burning of smaller piles of debris planned and some debris stacked against the beach foreshore for erosion and shorebird habitat protection. Mahia Beach has been cleared to the camping ground area, and recreational use has been restored. Heaping and burning are continuing along the golf club area of the beach. Mahia was set back last November with an additional load of woody debris deposited onto the beach.

Meanwhile, around 4,500m3 of debris from 26 bridges in the Wairoa district has been cleared.

Woody debris clearing has been funded through the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council administered Silt and Debris Taskforce.

Picture Caption: Piles of woody debris stacked at Taylor’s Bay, Mahia, were burned this week as part of a controlled removal process. The Taylors Bay burning is confined to the smaller debris, with the larger logs stacked against the bank to assist with erosion protection. Accessways are being created at intervals along the log line.

19 January 2024

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