AWADS x Million Metres
A Partnership To Counteract Our Carbon Emissions
In April 2019, Auckland Whale and Dolphin Safari established a partnership with Million Metres. An initiative of the Sustainable Business Network, Million Metres aims to raise the funds to restore one million metres of New Zealand’s waterways with native plants and trees.
Million Metres helps local communities with fundraising, expertise and other project support. Our passengers can contribute to this waterway restoration initiative, and help mitigate the carbon emissions produced on our safaris at the same time.
The Facts About New Zealand’s Waterways
- 82% of rivers in farming areas and 94% of waterways in urban areas are unsafe for swimming
- In farming areas, water pollution affects almost all rivers and aquifers, with high levels of nutrients, sediment and pathogens
- Urban waterways contain many of the same pollutants but typically at even higher levels and in addition contain other pollutants such as heavy metals
- 76% of freshwater fish species are now classified as ‘at risk’ of extinction
Why plant trees?
Planting native plants and trees along the banks of our streams, rivers, lakes and wetlands is a great way to improve water quality and enhance native biodiversity.
Planting the banks of our waterways has the following benefits:
- Helps prevent stream bank erosion and therefore reducing sediment entering the water
- Helps stop phosphorus and industrial contaminants from entering the water
- Shades the water, which lowers water temperatures and improves habitat for native fish
- Increases habitat for native birds and insects
- Takes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere
Why this partnership?
We have decided to partner with Million Metres as we believe that it is important to restore New Zealand’s waterways as well as mitigate our carbon emissions.
There’s no denying that our tours operate on board a 20-metre catamaran which runs on fuel. We acknowledge that this causes carbon emissions, which contributes to the global carbon emission problem.
Oceans and trees are two of the main carbon sinks around the world. We work to help protect the oceans every day through our marine research programmes, but we would also like to help on the land.
One of the main ways we can do this is by playing our part in the larger picture of restoring New Zealand’s waterways. By planting native trees and plants, we can not only help restore the local ecosystem, but also increase the amount of carbon being extracted from the atmosphere. It’s a win-win situation in our eyes!
And of course streams and rivers lead to the ocean – so by supporting projects that restore our local waterways, we’re also helping protect and preserve our precious Hauraki Gulf/Tikapa Moana Marine Park.
What happens to your donation?
Where: We have chosen to support local projects wherever possible. Our current project is the ‘Long Bay-Awaruku Stream and Wetland Warriors’ project. See below for a list of the projects we have helped fund.
Minimum donation: $10. This is the average cost of getting a tree in the ground and includes the cost of the tree itself, planting and maintenance. A small portion of your donation (around 15%) goes towards administration costs to keep these projects moving forward.
How: You can add a donation while you’re booking your safari, or talk to our friendly crew while you’re on board.
When: Fundraising occurs year-round. Tree planting takes place over the winter months, when there is more moisture in the ground to help the new plants establish.
Auckland Whale and Dolphin Safari passengers have helped fund the following projects to date:
- ‘Love Omaru Stream’ project (East Auckland)
- ‘More Love For Rangihoua’ project (Waiheke Island)
- ‘Love our Wetlands, Waiheke’ project (Waiheke Island)
As of March 2021 our passengers have donated over $3,000 towards Million Metres projects, with more than 500 trees planted as a result.