Spirit of Mangawhai casts off from lockdown
Anchored through the pandemic, a unique vessel providing an essential service has finally been set free at level 2 lockdown.
Mangawhai Harbour Restoration Society's (MHRS) sand dredge – Spirit of Mangawhai II – has been able to come out of from its resting site by the Mangawhai Tavern to resume important work, maintaining the health and pristine quality of the estuary, MHRS spokesperson Ken Rayward says.
"High winds over the past months have moved sand from the spit and surrounds into this area – Spirit II will soon be seen dredging sand blockage build-up in front of Sellars Reserve and down to Bullet Point," he says. "Sand in Mangawhai is a precious commodity and is constantly being managed by MHRS with the greatest respect in the knowledge that any sand lost can never be replaced."
Estuary dredging work undertaken by 'Spirit II' has two significant benefits. First, clearing waterways enables unobstructed water flow and the highest water quality standards to be achieved ensuring marine and bird life habitats are sustained, along with recreational activities like swimming and fishing. Second, removed sand is then recycled and used to restore and maintain the distal spit which provides a safe harbour and protection for the estuary from the open sea, while planned placement of the sand creates enhanced bird nesting habitats.
"She might not be the prettiest craft on our estuary but, for Mangawhai, Spirit II is without question the most valuable to our community."
Dredge Mangawhai Spirit II provides an essential service to the local marine environment. PHOTO/SUPPLIED