Targeted weed control using helicopters for aerial spraying starting 21 February

ECan Logo COLOUR

WHAT: ECan are starting their targeted weed control programme in February using helicopters for aerial spraying.

 

WHERE: Detailed maps are available on their website for the following locations:

•Kowhai River

•North Opuha River

•Lower Hurunui River

•Tengawai River

•Mason River and Waiau Uwha River

•Orari River

•Ashley River/Rakahuri

•Opihi River

•Waimakariri River

•Rangitata River

•Rakaia River

•Waitaki River, Pukaki Tekapō and Ohau rivers

 

WHEN: Starting the week of 21 February until about mid-March, as weather permits

 

ECan will be surveying the rivers first to identify islands in the riverbed that require weed control and then spraying targeted weed species (specifically willows, gorse, alder, poplar, broom, and lupins) growing on these particular islands. Signage indicating that spraying is underway will be placed at all refilling spray operation areas and at public access points on the river. Public access will be restricted during operations.

 

Why do we control weed in the riverbed?

Healthy waterways are central to a healthy environment. Our rivers are important places of cultural and ecological significance ki uta ki tai/from the mountains to the sea. However, our waterways are vulnerable to harmful weed infestations, so we need to manage weeds for flood control and biodiversity protection. Left unchecked, invasive weeds in these areas are a significant flood risk.

Environment Canterbury staff and contractors carry out weed control measures in the open riverbed to help flood flows pass through, and to enhance biodiversity values. Left unchecked the vegetation is a flood risk, occupying the channel and forcing flood waters towards farmland and riverside communities. Weed growth can also contribute to the loss of aquatic habitats and nesting areas for native birds. 

What chemicals do we use for targeted weed control?

Environment Canterbury uses herbicides (glyphosate and triclopyr) under strict controls to control weed growth in riverbeds and berms under the terms of Resource Consent CRC981580. We also use a surfactant that helps the herbicide ‘stick’ to plants thereby reducing the amount required.

Glyphosate is widely used in New Zealand and other countries as a general-purpose herbicide, it is regulated in New Zealand by the NZ Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) and there are laws around its use. Products containing glyphosate are considered safe, provided the safety instructions on the product labels are followed. The EPA’s statement about glyphosate, as well as a fact sheet and information about how glyphosate is regulated in New Zealand is available here.

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For any enquiries about spray operations please contact:

Sam Hurley | Regional Lead – River Operations

Email:                        Sam.Hurley@ecan.govt.nz

MOB:                        027 232 4516

 

 

ecan.govt.nz/flood-works

ecan.govt.nz/weedcontrol

 

WHAT:                 We are starting our targeted weed control programme in February using helicopters for aerial
spraying.

WHERE:                 Detailed maps will be available on our website shortly for the following locations:

·         Kowhai River

·         North Opuha River

·         Lower Hurunui River

·         Tengawai River

·         Mason River and Waiau Uwha River

·         Orari River

·         Ashley River/Rakahuri

·         Opihi River

·         Waimakariri River

·         Rangitata River

·         Rakaia River

·         Waitaki River, Pukaki Tekapō and Ohau rivers

 

WHEN:                 Starting the week of 21 February until about mid-March, as weather permits

 

We will be surveying the rivers first to identify islands in the riverbed that require weed control and then spraying targeted weed species (specifically willows, gorse, alder, poplar, broom, and lupins) growing on these particular islands. Signage indicating that spraying is underway will be placed at all refilling spray operation areas and at public access points on the river. Public access will be restricted during operations.

·         Why do we control weed in the riverbed?

Healthy waterways are central to a healthy environment. Our rivers are important places of cultural and ecological significance ki uta ki tai/from the mountains to the sea. However, our waterways are vulnerable to harmful weed infestations, so we need to manage weeds for flood control and biodiversity protection. Left unchecked, invasive weeds in these areas are a significant flood risk.

Environment Canterbury staff and contractors carry out weed control measures in the open riverbed to help flood flows pass through, and to enhance biodiversity values. Left unchecked the vegetation is a flood risk, occupying the channel and forcing flood waters towards farmland and riverside communities. Weed growth can also contribute to the loss of aquatic habitats and nesting areas for native birds.

  • What chemicals do we use for targeted weed control?

Environment Canterbury uses herbicides (glyphosate and triclopyr) under strict controls to control weed growth in riverbeds and berms under the terms of Resource Consent CRC981580. We also use a surfactant that helps the herbicide ‘stick’ to plants thereby reducing the amount required.

Glyphosate is widely used in New Zealand and other countries as a general-purpose herbicide, it is regulated in New Zealand by the NZ Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) and there are laws around its use. Products containing glyphosate are considered safe, provided the safety instructions on the product labels are followed. The EPA’s statement about glyphosate, as well as a fact sheet and information about how glyphosate is regulated in New Zealand is available here.

--

For any enquiries about spray operations please contact:

Sam Hurley | Regional Lead – River Operations

Email:                        Sam.Hurley@ecan.govt.nz

MOB:                        027 232 4516

     

 

ecan.govt.nz/flood-works

ecan.govt.nz/weedcontrol