Regenerating the kelp forests of Tutukaka Harbour

Project Update 28-12-22

Community response to the Tutukaka Harbour Kelp Restoration Project has been amazing! Following the public hui on Sunday 11th Dec donations started coming in. We are absolutely blown away by your generous support and really heartened by all the offers of help with the project.  As a result, the site preparation has been able to go ahead far quicker than was initially expected.

Scotty Gundesen and the Supbro team went all out to clear the site in Church Bay. By creating access to the southern side of Te Maika ki tai valley, it’s now possible to move the trailer-container (future kelp lab and education centre) into position. With careful measuring and strategic placing of rock for the trailer, all weather access to the back of the site for future solar panels, toilets and showers has been possible and has also saved quite a bit of money. We’ll be moving the kelp lab onto its new site as soon as the tow truck is available.

Our first batch of  “green gravel” kelplings have now been in the water at our two pilot sites by Philip Island for 2½ weeks and they’re looking happy! The kelplings sited where kina were removed are looking great, with only a few stones showing signs of grazing. Interestingly, there hasn’t been the influx of kina moving in to the area that we were expecting. So far we have only removed 24 kina from the site since placing the kelplings. The kelplings in the control site, where no kina were removed have been nibbled a bit and some stones have been completely cleared of kelplings. It’s hard to tell who’s been munching them, but we suspect it’s probably the kina. At both sites though the kelplings have already put on a burst of growth and have more than doubled in size!

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