Titahi Bay Stormwater Mural

Students from Titahi Bay Intermediate have been investigating ways to keep Porirua Harbour and the Tītahi Bay area clean, and recently completed a project with Healthy Harbours Porirua to raise awareness about stormwater at Titahi Bay Beach. Throughout Term 4 2017, the students conducted a series of activities to learn about the impact of waste being carried through stormwater systems into Porirua Harbour and Titahi Bay. Litter, pollutants, and sediment were the main impacts on local marine water quality.

At the end of the term, the students went snorkelling in Titahi Bay to look at the marine biodiversity. During the snorkel, they saw seahorses, sea slugs, starfish, schooling mackerel, and other juvenile fish hiding in the kelp and seaweed. They also found a large amount of waste in Titahi Bay, such as plastic food wrapping, personal care items, and takeaway packaging. Following the snorkel, the students spent day at Titahi Bay beach painting a mural. The mural is on a local stormwater drain, and they hope their artwork will highlight the impact that waste can have on the harbour and marine environments. The creatures that frequent the area, some of which they saw while snorkelling, now adorn the drain, which can be enjoyed at the north end of Titahi Bay Beach.

Titahi Bay Intermediate student, Justyce Mihaka-Lloyd, painting a mural on the Titahi Bay stormwater outfall

Year 8 student, Jack Chapman, says “Porirua Harbour used to be a source of food for Māori and early settlers, and we want to restore [the Harbour] back to a healthy state for the native species and future generations.” The students wrote to Porirua City Council for permission to paint the drain, and were given enthusiastic support.

Image: Titahi Bay Intermediate students (L to R), Rosa Stratford, Jack Chapman, Ariyah Bryce and Keira Arnold, paint the stormwater outfall in Titahi Bay.

For teacher Amy Cole the experience has empowered the kids to act as kaitiaki. “These are local kids, it’s their local beach, and they’re painting this mural here to raise awareness that the community can make a difference. Every small action can have a positive impact.”

Thank you to Greater Wellington Regional Council and Wellington Water for supporting these students with their project.

Titahi Bay Intermediate students celebrate their finished stormwater mural, with teacher Amy Cole (standing, left), and Mountains To Sea Wellington’s Program Director, Zoe Studd (standing, right).

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