Get on the Boat - Lake Restoration
Changes, Challenges & Maintaining Momentum
Dates: 10 - 11 November 2022
Venue: Millennium Hotel, Rotorua and Online (Hybrid Event)
In 2019, our Symposium theme was “Float Your Boat” -Certify’ where the emphasis was on a call for boat certification to ensure boats launched into the Rotorua Lakes are clean and free of pest plants and animals. The Regional Pest Management Plan was subsequently changed to reflect the community desire to have no more pests invading the Lakes.
This year – our call to action is again to the community to “Get on the Boat” and work with Lakes Water Quality Society to act for the future and drive policy and management strategies which meets community aspirations. Two major challenges exist – maintaining the gains made and managing land and water as an integrated system to make the Lakes more resilient to changes, enhance water quality, and provide resources for future generations.
Much progress has been made across Rotorua lakes and their catchments in reducing nutrient inflows, controlling algae blooms and managing lake weed infestations. But with climate change, significant land use change to production forestry, urban development pressures, and the three waters infrastructure reforms, new challenges are emerging. Many of the lakes remain at risk of further degradation. Lake Tarawera water quality remains a concern. Lake Rotoehu has not responded, as expected, to ten years of control actions. Lake Rotorua is still on “steroids” (receiving alum) to reduce phosphorus inputs and control algae blooms.
Symposium topics include:
- The state of freshwater in New Zealand.
- Policy and regulations – progress with implementation and impacts.
- Mātauranga Māori and manging water in Te Arawa rohe and New Zealand.
- Protecting biodiversity in Lakes and biosecurity measures.
- The effectiveness of existing policy in building resilience for and restoring Rotorua’s Lakes.
- Climate change and Lakes - strategies for future protection.
- Impacts of production forestry on water quality and the role of the National Environmental Standard – Plantation Forests.
- Integrated land and water management – what we need to know, policy development, new tools, and their implementation.
FLOAT YOUR BOAT, CERTIFY - 2019
Symposium 2019 was held on the 7 th and 8th of November 2019.
Two key issues covered during the Symposium were:
- The need and options for a “Clean Boat” certification process for all vessels operating on all of the Rotorua Lakes to prevent the spread of aquatic pest plants and fish;
- An update on Lake restoration activities across the Rotorua Lakes with a special emphasis on Lakes Tarawera and Rotoehu.
The Symposium programme and introductions to our keynote speakers is available here.
Overall, we were pleased with the outcomes of the Symposium. There was strong recognitionthat actions are needed to prevent the spread of pests. As without these, evidence indicates that it is almost inevitable that new and existing pests (plants and fish) will spread to lakes where they are not known to occur currently. Where boat cleaning procedures are effectively enforced, then any new incursions of pests can be largely eliminated. This is the experience from North America and the application of a boat certification and cleaning programme for Lake Tahoe.
For Lake Tarawera, restoration efforts need to take into account that the catchment is complex as there are 7 other contributing lakes (L. Okataina, Okareka, Tikitapu, Rotokakahi, Rotomahana, Okaro and Rerewhakaaitu).Restoration of this Lake requires a good understanding of the both the nitrogen and phosphorus loads to the “catchment complex” and consideration of the effects of significant geothermal inputs. Ongoing work related to sewage reticulation and land use practices are going to be important.
The Lakes Water Quality Society – which, including a previous life as the Lakeweed Control Society, is now almost 50 years old – organised in 2001, the first in a series of symposia in conjunction with the Royal Society of NZ (Rotorua Branch). These symposia were initiated for two reasons : firstly, public concern over a decline in lake water quality, especially the spread of blue-green algal (cyanobacterial) blooms; secondly, the limited amount of basic research being conducted for lake water (as opposed to applied research and monitoring). Following the success of this initial foray, subsequent symposia were also organised, and the Society now has a well-deserved reputation for high-quality, current and relevant content for these events.
The Proceedings for each symposium can be viewed and or downloaded below.
Rotorua Lakes 2015 - Symposium Summary
Overview of Symposium Lake Weed and Wallabies. 12th - 13th March 2015, Sir Howard Morrison Performing Arts Centre, 1170 Fenton Street, Rotorua. Hosted by LakesWater Quality Society.View Page