This year the Freyberg GATE team is going to be investigating issues facing the Manawatu River. Our river has been described as "one of the most polluted in the western world". Some support this claim and others fiercely dispute it. Before starting to think about the issues I'd be interested in hearing what the river means to you.
For me personally, I live in Aokautere and I am able to walk across a couple of paddocks to enjoy the river, usually for swims on a hot day with my family. I sometimes wonder if the river is safe to swim in, given what I've read and I'm not 100% sure but it doesn't stop me going in. That said, I'd love to be able to swim in it and be confident it was healthy to swim in. Another important place for me with the river is the Manawatu Estuary. I spend lots of hours down here each year following the coming and going our of migratory shorebirds and the other species that make the estuary their home. It's a pretty amazing place that sometimes needs a closer look to be appreciated - don't get put off by it just looking like mudflats, it is a RAMSAR site for a good reason.
So, how about you?