This ambitious natural infrastructure project is designed to increase the resilience of river berms for flood and erosion protection, and foster the regeneration of native flora and fauna across more than 20 rivers throughout Canterbury.
River berms and margins are the strip of land directly adjacent to the active part of the riverbed. Planting trees in and around river margins is essential for flood resilience, providing a buffer to slow floodwaters and prevent bank erosion. These berms are also rich in environmental values. Many river berms have become choked with weed growth and this is expected to accelerate with the effects of climate change.
This project is a great example of how a holistic awa/river management strategy can provide both environmental and flood management benefits and provided an opportunity to apply a more holistic approach using nature-based solutions to complement engineering works. Berm transition is being achieved through targeted invasive weed control, strategic flood protection vegetation planting, under-canopy native planting, establishing good access, and creating and enhancing mahinga kai, native habitat and recreational opportunities.
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