500 signatures reached
To: Mayor Phil Goff, Auckland Council
Fix Wairau Estuary & Milford Beach
Mayor Phil Goff, we the undersigned ask that you protect our health and safety, and restore the ecological and recreational value of Milford Beach & Wairau Estuary. Please achieve the following:
Raise the Milford Beach and Wairau Estuary Safeswim rankings into the average for North Shore beaches by 2022. And make them swimmable 365 days of the year by 2025.
Reduce hydrocarbons and heavy metals in Wairau Estuary sediment below the default guideline values by 2025.
Establish an ongoing monitoring program for E. coli, Enterococci, hydrocarbons and heavy metals to ensure Goals 1 & 2 are maintained.
Why is this important?
North Shore beaches are the pride of Auckland and are of world renown. Wairau Estuary and Milford Beach are a regional resource. Large numbers of visitors from South and West Auckland enjoy them throughout summer.
Yet Wairau Estuary is one of the most heavily contaminated waterways in Auckland. The contamination includes silt (that chokes seafloor life), human faecal contamination, heavy metals and hydrocarbons.
Wairau Outlet has a permanent no swim warning. The only one north of the Harbour Bridge.
There is human sewage in the Wairau Estuary. This contaminates Milford Beach.
Heavy metals and hydrocarbons in the Estuary are carried with silt onto Milford and Castor Bay Beaches. High levels of Zinc, Lead, Copper, Cadmium, Chromium and Arsenic are present. Polyaromatic hydrocarbons cause cancer and are found in the sediment of Milford Beach in moderately elevated (amber zone) quantities.
There is a total ban on gathering shellfish off the Wairau Outlet, because they contain human faecal matter.
Council puts a red no swim advisory on any beach when 2 in every 100 swimmers are likely to get sick.
Swimming illness is usually mild; it takes the form of a “cold”, ear infection or sinus infection. Or a “tummy bug”, with diarrhoea or vomiting. Most people view swimming as healthy and mistakenly blame other factors for their illness.
Children are at highest risk from swimming, because they play in the shallows where the faecal bugs concentrate.
The Wairau Estuary is special to Milford & Castor Bay. There is nothing similar on other North Shore beaches. It should be a jewel in the crown; a place that people & wildlife seek out rather than avoid because it is stinky & toxic. In addition to its own unique features, it can be a connection between Lake Pupuke, Sylvan Park, Milford & Castor Bay Beach.
Sign our petition for a cleaner, safer Milford Beach and Wairau Estuary.