The team at Westhaven Marina have started to turn the tide when it comes to water quality in our country’s biggest marina.
Being an accredited Blue Flag Marina of 13 years standing is a big part of the environmental equation, says Westhaven Manager Kevin Lidgard of Panuku Development Auckland, because keeping the status requires Westhaven to operate in an environmentally sustainable way in everything it does.
“The marina was built in the 1940s. Practices that may have been acceptable in the past no longer are today, and Westhaven has helped initiate a lot of change.”
Education was early and ongoing, and Westhaven has set policies, taken a hard line when it needs to, and provided facilities to make waste removal and recycling easier.
With the emergence of new marine pests, the Westhaven Floating Dock, recently upgraded, provides a great way for owners to clean their boats in an environmentally safe way.
Under the marina’s carparks are huge filters that reduce toxins going into the harbour from run off from the adjacent motorway. Soon raingardens will be added, providing more natural filtration for the marina’s own stormwater.
Through a programme of water testing, the Panuku Development Auckland team have been able to pinpoint areas of contamination and work with Auckland Council and Watercare to start to eliminate these.
Westhaven provides berthage and practical help to the Watercare Harbour Clean Up Trust and SeaCleaners, and gets behind events and causes where they are helping to protect the environment.
Whether as a result of these endeavours or not, wild life – including sting rays, fish and bird life, and even a leopard seal – is returning to Westhaven Marina.
Westhaven Marina is owned by Auckland Council and Panuku Development on behalf of the people of Auckland. It’s a boating mecca and a fantastic place to visit and spend time.