Environment Southland


No action is too small, it will take us all

Jamie Reinke with Matt Grant

A surge of projects and actions are taking place across Southland by individuals, groups, schools, and farmers alike to improve our waterways.

In June, Environment Southland teamed up with Sunrise Rotary Invercargill and the community to hold a river clean-up along the stop banks of the Waihōpai River. Around 100 people of all ages braved the cold and wet conditions, picking up more than 660 kg of rubbish in less than two hours.

Rubbish included 18 car tyres, countless plastic drinking straws, and a smashed up computer console.

"The event was an amazing demonstration of how inspired our community is to take action and be involved in practical ways of helping to clean-up our waterways," says Ken Swinney, Environment Southland acting science and information director.

"We were really pleased with the community support even in the blustery, cold conditions that the day brought. It was really beneficial to partner with Sunrise Rotary – we were able to achieve a lot more together," says Ken.

Rotarian and co-organiser, Alan Watson says it was good to see so many young people turn up to help out at the event.

"Invercargill's environment will be in good hands," says Alan.

As well as marking the first day of National Volunteer Week, the clean-up event was part of our evolving Water Story, which will expand over time with information about your favourite places and activities. We will also continue to share some of our latest science information, highlight various work underway by us, individuals and community groups, and, most importantly, provide information about how you can get involved.

We will be focussing on different areas of Southland as we go, with an initial focus on the lower Ōreti area: the waterways that feed around and through Invercargill, before meeting at New River Estuary.