During the Easter holidays, the Mountains to Sea Conservation Trust held their annual wånanga at Omaha (Te Kiri) marae. As part of the national coordinator training, which is held for the two days prior to the public event, coordinators from the Whitebait Connection arm of the trust visited the Leigh stream to practice macroinvertebrate identification and taking water freshwater quality measurements.
Jo Evans and Susan Gibbings kindly showed the team of approx. 15 coordinators down to the stream. Everyone was fascinated to hear what work the community is undertaking in the area to help combat pest species and restore the Leigh Valley.
Once down at the stream, coordinators practiced using the Whitebait Connection water quality testing kit. Results indicated that the stream had good water quality on the day of survey. Everyone then had a go with the sweep nets, collecting macroinvertebrates from the stream for identification. The stream has an impressive selection of macroinvertebrate species, most which indicate good water quality and in-stream habitat. The results from this survey can be seen in the table below.
The remainder of the wånanga was a huge success, with 60 people from all over the country coming together to discuss and listen to talks on Citizen Science in marine and freshwater action and conservation. Thank you so much Jo and Sue for showing us the stream and keep up the good work Leigh Harbour Valley Society! You live in a truly magical location and it was a pleasure to explore and discover the area with our team and visitors.