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Helping rebuild Christchurch's CBD

Visual Overview: a cool flythrough animation
Our Passion: healthy river = healthy people
EOS Ecology
Design Concept: the principles and rational
Ecological Goals: the what, why and how

EOS Ecology is responsible for the ecology components of the Avon River Precinct, North Frame and East Frame anchor projects, which form part of Christchurch’s CBD rebuild. As part of the successful Opus-led design consortium, we commenced the concept design phase in January 2013.

We’ve been tasked with ensuring ecology remains a cornerstone of the design process. Our aim: to improve the health of the Avon River, and by doing so bring back life to the CBD. Our philosophy: healthy river = healthy people.

Through our in-depth understanding of ecological principles and how they can integrate with urban and landscape design, along with our knowledge of the past and present ecology of the river, we have been able to create critical habitat and stormwater management features needed to ensure river health enhancement, all the while enabling the creation of an outdoor multi-use space, so essential to a modern city.

After delivery of the concept design, we’ve also been tasked with leading the detailed design of in-river works, which at 3.2kms equates to the longest urban waterway enhancement project in New Zealand. We continue to lead the ecology components for the developed and detailed design phases of the wider Avon River Precinct, North Frame and East Frame project areas.

This is the first section of these anchor projects to be completed and was officially opened on 29 August 2013. It’s a 225m revitalisation of the Avon River and gives you a feel for what’s to come.

EOS Ecology was responsible for all the ecology components, including leading the in-river design and overseeing construction of the in-river works, which has rejuvenated this formerly degraded section. We removed fine sediment and liquefaction sand deposits, cleaned existing gravels, narrowed the low-flow channel, relinked the river to its floodplain, increased water velocity, and improved instream habitat complexity.

If you’re in Christchurch, don't forget to pop down to the Antigua Boatsheds and check it out – it looks and sounds amazing, literally.

I encourage you to visit CCDU's website for more videos and information on these (and other) anchor projects.


Service Areas: Restoration Design and Monitoring, Ecosystem Health Assessment, Aquatic Sample Processing, Urban Ecology

With a restaurant that overlooks the resort’s stormwater pond, it was no surprise that the new owners of the Bluewater Resort in Tekapo wanted to turn the pond into an ecological asset as well as have it treat stormwater.

EOS Ecology was tasked with ensuring the pond would not only look better but would improve the existing aquatic and terrestrial values. The EOS team surveyed the pond and riparian margins to establish the baseline ecological state that would direct how we could make ecological improvements. Our report incorporated simple ways to modify their stormwater swale network that would then improve water clarity in the pond, selected aquatic plants that would improve pond habitat and water clarity, and picked locally indigenous riparian plants that would not only thrive and sit well within the local surroundings, but which could be readily sourced from nurseries.

Simple plans and flora recommendations as presented to client. grey-BR

Service Areas: Restoration Design and Monitoring, Ecosystem Health Assessment, Aquatic Sample Processing, Urban Ecology

Prior to the urbanisation of a rural area in Rangiora, EOS Ecology were commissioned by the Waimakariri District Council to assess the sensitivity of a spring-fed stream likely to be impacted by the future land use change.

Having discovered a locally unique and abundant population of freshwater crayfish (koura) in the headwaters, the team at EOS advised on a design to improve and increase the length of koura habitat. Our design focused on protecting the stream from future development through isolating it from the stormwater network. The project involved detailed surveys to establish the dynamics of the crayfish population, with the resulting data to be used as a baseline for future monitoring.

Fishing for crayfish that form a key part of the community in this spring-fed stream. grey-BR

Service Areas: Restoration Design and Monitoring, Ecosystem Health Assessment, Aquatic Sample Processing, Resource Consent Monitoring

EOS Ecology was engaged to investigate the restoration potential of a boxed drain running through one of Christchurch’s northern suburbs.

Aware of an isolated population of bluegill bullies rarely found in Christchurch, scientists at EOS worked closely with the client’s landscape architects and engineers to design a channel that would enhance the bluegill’s habitat. Balancing these habitat requirements with the need to provide for inline stormwater treatment, future urbanisation in the upper catchment, and the riparian vegetation restrictions in the adjacent golf course were also key considerations for the design. The EOS team are currently involved in post restoration surveys to determine the success of this restoration; early indications are promising.

Download No.2 Drain Naturalisation Report

The restoration design required key habitat improvements to support an isolated population of bluegill bullies. grey-BR

Service Areas: Restoration Design and Monitoring, Ecosystem Health Assessment, Aquatic Sample Processing, Urban Ecology

With plans in place to modify the three culverts that drain McCormacks Bay, there are hopes that these modifications may restore a more natural tidal cycle to the Bay and thereby reduce excessive sea lettuce growth. Commissioned by the Christchurch City Council, EOS Ecology has designed a monitoring programme for the Bay that will examine any changes in the benthic fauna, sediment, and macroalgae as a result of changes to the culverts and tidal flushing cycles.

Building on previous work the EOS team has undertaken in the Bay, the findings from this programme will form the ‘before’ data against which to monitor changes that may occur as a result of the improvements to the culverts. The EOS team carried out the field survey in June 2010 and upon completion of the laboratory work will produce a report on this baseline data for the Council and community.

Download McCormacks Bay Survey Report

Sampling in the deep mud of McCormacks Bay is not for the faint-hearted. grey-BR

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