The Punakaiki Coastal Restoration Project (PCRP) covers 75 hectares of coastal land on the Barrytown Flats, 4km south of Punakaiki and bordering the Tasman sea to the west and Paparoa National Park to the east. The project is a partnership between Conservation Volunteers NZ (CVNZ), Department of Conservation, Rio Tinto mining and more recently Lincoln University. Conservation Volunteers NZ take the lead role in onsite project delivery and volunteer management.
The objectives of the project are to restore the biodiversity of the site through revegetating the previously cleared land with native plants; to protect the surrounding habitat of the Westland Petrel which has its only nesting sites located in the hills behind the site; to educate and create awareness of environmental issues associated with the site; to engage and build the capacity of local community groups on the site; and to provide a lasting community legacy for the benefit of future generations.
In its first seven years, the project has planted over 150,000 trees covering 27 acres, using over 8,000 volunteer days, predominantly by international visitors. Local schools, the Tai Poutini Polytech and community groups have also helped. The project has an onsite nursery with a capacity of around 20,000 plants a year.
In 2016, Trees That Count funded the planting of 5,000 trees on the site with the help of international volunteers, school groups and local volunteers supervised by CVNZ staff.