Check, clean, dry message to protect waterways

NO DIDYMO: University student Holly McIldowie is back for the summer holiday season to help protect our waterways with the ‘Check, Clean, Dry’ message. File picture

University student Holly McIldowie is back this summer to remind everyone to take necessary precautions to prevent the spread of freshwater pests.

With the Christmas/New Year holiday season under way, Gisborne District Council and the Ministry for Primary Industries are emphasising the importance of cleaning equipment used between waterways.

GDC didymo advocate Ms McIldowie will be seen and heard again at popular waterways in the Gisborne and Wairoa regions over the next few months.

“My role is to spread the ‘Check, Clean, Dry’, message to ensure people don’t accidentally spread pest, weeds and fish.

“I really enjoyed the job last summer because I’m passionate about the environment and it feels good knowing I am making a difference.

“I talk to people at fishing and swimming hot spots and hand out free cleaning packs to people, stores, accommodation outlets and farmstays.

“I also do a few visits to primary schools to teach the younger generation about the importance of looking after the environment.

Pests such as the invasive didymo, lake snow, and hornwort pose a threat to New Zealand rivers, lakes and streams.

These pests can disperse rapidly and destroy the environmental, recreational and aesthetic value of waterways.

Some freshwater pests, like didymo, are microscopic and can be spread by a single drop of water.

Ms McIldowie is studying towards a Bachelor of Environmental Management at Lincoln University.

“It’s the people’s responsibility to try to preserve the environmental integrity of our waterways for future generations.”

University student Holly McIldowie is back this summer to remind everyone to take necessary precautions to prevent the spread of freshwater pests.

With the Christmas/New Year holiday season under way, Gisborne District Council and the Ministry for Primary Industries are emphasising the importance of cleaning equipment used between waterways.

GDC didymo advocate Ms McIldowie will be seen and heard again at popular waterways in the Gisborne and Wairoa regions over the next few months.

“My role is to spread the ‘Check, Clean, Dry’, message to ensure people don’t accidentally spread pest, weeds and fish.

“I really enjoyed the job last summer because I’m passionate about the environment and it feels good knowing I am making a difference.

“I talk to people at fishing and swimming hot spots and hand out free cleaning packs to people, stores, accommodation outlets and farmstays.

“I also do a few visits to primary schools to teach the younger generation about the importance of looking after the environment.

Pests such as the invasive didymo, lake snow, and hornwort pose a threat to New Zealand rivers, lakes and streams.

These pests can disperse rapidly and destroy the environmental, recreational and aesthetic value of waterways.

Some freshwater pests, like didymo, are microscopic and can be spread by a single drop of water.

Ms McIldowie is studying towards a Bachelor of Environmental Management at Lincoln University.

“It’s the people’s responsibility to try to preserve the environmental integrity of our waterways for future generations.”

By following the GDC’s simple instructions, Gisborne and Wairoa waterways will remain free of the noxious weed didymo.

CHECK all equipment that has come into contact with the water for any plant material, and remove.

CLEAN all equipment with a 5 percent detergent or 2 percent bleach solution.

Let all equipment DRY to the touch and then leave for a further 48 hours before moving between waterways.

If you cannot check, clean and dry between waterways, then ensure you use different equipment when travelling to another fresh waterway.

More information is available on the Gisborne District Council and Ministry for Primary Industries websites.

If there are any suspected sightings of didymo or other pest weeds or fish, report them immediately to the MPI Pest and Disease Hotline 0800 809 966.

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