An article was published today following a national survey of how New Zealanders felt about our waterways (read the full report here: http://goo.gl/IRtmg3). Admittedly, the survey was aimed at people who are interested in fresh water fisheries – trout, salmon, and game bird hunting (it was initiated by Fish & Game), it turns out that 9 out of 10 respondents wanted to have swimmable, clean waterways, and 70% believed that the expansion of dairy farming has degraded our waterways. I am not really surprised by that, I mean, who really wants to go for a fish or a picnic in /near a filthy cow pooped stream?
We have a lot of rivers in New Zealand, which is pretty neat, so neat in fact that when you make a map of all of the rivers in New Zealand, it resembles, well, New Zealand. I made a map to show you:
The spatial extent alone makes me think that if over 52% of our waterways are contaminated, we are in trouble and we desperately need stronger legislation and action to protect the other 48% before it’s too late. Apparently, the majority of New Zealanders agree.