Drains Are Only For Rain!

| By Enviroschools Marlborough

Hinemoana: Qualities of the female aspects of the sea.

A Linkwater School student is spreading the message that ‘only rain should go down the drain’, in an effort to keep our beautiful Marlborough Sounds clean and healthy.

Angus hard at work

Angus from Linkwater School was worried about pollution going into the sea at Tirimoana, near Anakiwa in the Marlborough Sounds.  Last year, Anna from Marlborough District Council visited Linkwater School with the “Drain Game” – an experiential activity that helps students understand where stuff goes when it goes down the drain.

Angus remembered learning that pollution (like rubbish, oil, paint or soap suds) that goes down stormwater drains goes straight into the nearest stream or river, and then into the sea.  He contacted Anna to see if she could help him to put blue fish on drains in Tirimoana, so that locals and visitors to the area would think twice before letting these nasties get into the local stream and bay.

A newly installed Kōkopu

Angus and his helpers, Sophie & Esmae, spent a whole day installing over 15 fish on drains – even the rain didn’t dent their enthusiasm!  They chose to install both banded kōkopu (one of the five whitebait species) and tuna (eel) fish shapes to the drains, all carrying the message that drains are only for the rain.

Both of these fish species go between fresh and salt water during their life-cycles, so are particularly appropriate in Tirimoana, where the local streets and stormwater drains are very close to both the stream and the sea.

Angus’s next step is to get his dad to help him build a noticeboard for the Tirimoana community.  This will allow him to share information about why the blue fish are there, and what the community can do to keep the stormwater – and their special local environment – clean and healthy.

He tino pai tō mahi Angus, Sophie & Esmae – you’ve done a good job!

Angus and his helpers Sophie & Esmae