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Blue fish plaques representing school pupils’ respect for their stormwater drains are cropping up all over Christchurch.
As the kids learn to help protect local waterways, their new understanding is acknowledged with some blue fish plaques on their school drains.
The year 4, 5 and 6 pupils from St Albans Catholic School are very proud of their three fish and have been seen sharing their knowledge with fellow students and parents, says Nicky Ryan-Yates, from the school’s Learning Support team.
“A group of volunteers pick up litter from the drains around our school block and our local park, Malvern Park. This is all part of our Keep Christchurch Beautiful Community Pride project which we have been running for quite a number of years now,” Nicky says.
“As the children collect litter, we talk about the environmental impact of waste in our drains and the detrimental effect it has on the marine life around the globe.”
The Christchurch City Council (CCC) provided vests, gloves, buckets and litter grabbers for the kids.
“We are very grateful for the council support – the children look quite the part when we are out and about and when members of the public stop and talk the students like to explain what they are doing and why,” Nicky says.
The school was the first in Christchurch where Citycare Water installed the fish on stormwater grates to support the CCC blue fish programme.
The vibrant fish are a tool to raise awareness that the water that runs down stormwater drains affects the health of nearby streams and rivers.
“As part of our commitment to the local community, it’s great to be involved in this worthwhile initiative to increase awareness about caring for our stormwater drains,” Citycare Water Christchurch Three Waters Manager Linda Till says.
“It’s important for our environment that people understand about what should, and should not, go down our stormwater drains, into the waterways and out to sea,” she says.
“Helping our tamariki to understand this is a great way to start.”
For more information on the CCC programme, see: https://newsline.ccc.govt.nz/news/story/fish-provide-hook-for-healthy-waterway-message
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When Christchurch residents report an issue with their water, various Citycare Water teams step in to ensure the problem is repaired in a timely way.
Thousands of residents report water reticulation problems in Christchurch each month and prioritising the fixes is a continuous exemplar of collaboration between the council and Citycare Water.