***Message* from Abby Wayte-Macredie, Hawke's Bay Regional Council CHECK CLEAN DRY Advocate**
With MCL Construction Triple Peaks approaching fast, it’s time to school up on a few things.
The Ministry of Primary Industries and the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council are encouraging freshwater users to Check, Clean, Dry when moving through waterways.It is essential that we stop the spread of freshwater pests such as didymo, hydrilla, lagarosiphon and hornwort.
As trail runners and mountain bikers; you may often find yourself crossing more than one waterway in a single day – this poes a serious problem. The first waterway you cross may harbour lagarosiphon, otherwise known as oxygen weed. This freshwater pests can spread by a single stem fragment. The same fragment, carried to another waterway, can establish dense vegetation. Similarily, didymo can spread by a single drop of water.
The algae is currently only in the South Island, but is capable of spreading to the North Island if considerable care is not taken.
These freshwater pests have devastating effects on our rivers, lakes and streams ecosystems. They crowd out native plants, alter the habitats of native fauna and the food chains they rely on. Not to mention its presumably uncomfortable, even dangerous, to swim in slime, or find yourself tangled in weeds which can grow up to 10 meters in height.
Follow the Check, Clean, Dry steps to play your part in protecting our waterways from any freshwater pests.
1. Remove any plant matter from your gear and leave it at the site (river or lake bank), or put it in the rubbish. Do not wash plant material down any drain.
2. Dishwashing detergent (500mls diluted to 10 liters in water). Soak or spray all surface for at least 1 minute.
3.Ensure your gear is completely dry to touch, inside and out, the leave dry for at least another 48 hours before you use it (didymo can survive for months on moist gear).
You will find more information in your goodie bags, that you collect from registration.
Have fun, and be safe.