Dune planting Thornton beach

Kawerau juniors spent the day dune planting at Thornton beach as they assisted Ben Banks plant over 200 native plants amongst the sand dunes.

The project is part of partnership between Coastal care and Indigenous Sparks as the latter fosters opportunity to empower youth in helping to manage our coastal erosion problem.  

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Students began their effort at the foredune, planting Spinifex sericeus - "Kowhangatara". This is a native foresand dune stabilising plant with hairy silver grey leaves, that grows into long rhizomes that trap the sand. Spinifex are known to be strictly coastal where they are confined to sandy beaches. They are usually found at the front of actively accumulating foredunes. They do not tolerate stable dune systems and do not compete well with other introduced dune plants.

The students worked hard to plant our foredunes, making their whanau and teachers proud of their achievements. The group also used the opportunity to identify and categorise the variety of shells, snails, limpets found on the beach


Coast Care is a coastal restoration programme, run in close partnership with local communities, care groups and schools, that aims to restore and protect the sand dunes along our Bay of Plenty beaches.