Freshwater advocate to speak

Tom Kay, Forest & Bird’s fresh water advocate.
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Tom Kay, Forest & Bird’s freshwater advocate, will be in Ashburton on Tuesday to give a presentation about making room for rivers.

The talk is being hosted by the Ashburton branch of Forest & Bird.

Tom will be talking about how the environment has been managed and how this has exacerbated flooding and disaster risk, the impact of flood protection engineering on our rivers and communities, and the approach we could be taking instead.

Making room for rivers, allowing rivers to reclaim parts of their natural flood plains in strategic places, is a naturebased solution to climate change that will protect communities from devastating floods while restoring the environment and enhancing local recreation opportunities.

Tom grew up in Hawke’s Bay and now lives in Wellington.

Tom developed a keen passion for whitewater kayaking on the Mohaka River throughout his childhood and continues to kayak around Aotearoa.

He has a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science and a Master of Science in Ecology from Massey University in Palmerston North, where his MSc research focused on measuring changes in river habitat over time.

Tom has worked at Forest & Bird for the better part of six years and has also worked briefly as a policy advisor at an environmental consultancy, as a field team member in a predator control research and development organisation, and as a raft guide.

Tom’s current interest is figuring out how to get decision makers and policy-writers to protect the natural character and habitat of rivers, and make ‘room for rivers’, rather than just focus on water quality, quantity, and flood protection engineering.

Making Room for Rivers is on in the St Stephen’s Church Hall, Cnr Park and Tancred streets on Tuesday at 7.30pm.