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Our Environment: Issue 23 Winter 2000

Our Environment: Christchurch City Council's Environmental Newsletter

Styx Rivers build bridges

Christchurch has forged close links with sister cities since 1972. Now local community group Guardians of the Styx is establishing a sister river relationship with the Styx River in Alabama.

The City Council supports the Guardians of the Styx in their development of the sister river link, a first for New Zealand. Councillors were told that this was an excellent chance to develop a relationship with another part of the world and to exchange information, increase publicity and enhance environmental education and management practice transfers.

Mr Warwick McFadden of the Guardians had earlier contacted the community river watch group and Baldwin County in the United States. It was suggested that the two waterways become sister rivers to promote international rapport between the communities and local governments associated with each Styx River.

Mr McFadden has since visited officials of Baldwin County who organised a ceremony to exchange proclamations with Guardians of the Styx.

The 23.8km Styx River in Christchurch and its tributaries and associated wetlands have high ecological, recreational, landscape, heritage and cultural significance. They also form an important part of the natural drainage system of the northern part of the City. The Styx River in Alabama is 56km in length and stretches south from the city of Bay Minette to its confluence with the Perdido River, which is classified as an Outstanding National Resource.

With a catchment of 53,000 hectares, the Styx flows through a mainly rural environment that also contains some rural residential development. Local wildlife includes numerous species of fish, snakes, birds and insects as well as deer, squirrels, oppossum, raccoon, bats and the endangered red cockaded woodpecker. 

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