Mangroves have been appearing and spreading in Little Shoal Bay since the late 1960s. Auckland Council records show that in 1959, there were no mangroves present on the seaward side of the bay which was identified as a wading bird area.
Today, mangroves have formed a thick forest and have spread over the sandy beach towards the grass reserve. The proliferation of mangroves together with high tides has enabled them to spread further into wetlands areas. The drainage channels are blocked and the spread is taking over the natural wetland environment.
The latest image of circa 2015-16 from Google Maps above, shows how much the drainage of the bay has changed since 1959. The wetlands overflow drain channel in the far west corner is now clearly visible and takes most of the outflow while the older creek line has almost disappeared. Note also that there are many more boats moored in the bay, some of which are illegally anchored and even sometimes tied off to mangroves.
Little Shoal Bay Protection Society recently partnered with the Kaipatiki Community Facilities Trust on a Community Mangrove Removal day (Sunday 9th April 2017). About a dozen volunteers worked hard around low tide to make a start on managing the mangroves that had spread up the western beach area. Two more days are planned and you are very welcome to join the group on Friday 21st and Sunday 30th of April to work on the wetlands areas. Here’s some photos from the first day: