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Health of Tasman's coastline under scrutiny

October 26th, 2012

Tasman District Council will host a public meeting in Motueka at which it will present a comprehensive recent report on the ecological health of the Tasman Bay coastline.

Trevor James, a resource scientist at the Council, will present his report at the Motueka Cricket Pavillion on Thursday November 22nd at 7:30pm, to be followed by an open discussion of the issues.

The report includes broad-scale habitat maps and detailed risk assessments within estuaries, beaches and dunes, rocky shores and terrestrial margins. The area covered includes the majority of Tasman's coastline, but excludes the coasts of Farewell Spit and Abel Tasman National Park, as fewer resource management issues exist in these areas.

This report includes significant new information from extensive fieldwork carried out in 2010-11 but also integrates information from all previous studies in Tasman District's coastal environment.

Our coast is ecologically diverse with a broad range of habitat types. It is a place of high biological diversity and high economic value. Despite these high values the vulnerability assessment identified a number of key issues:

  • Excessive muddiness and, to a lesser extent, nutrient enrichment of estuaries and embayments.
  • Elevated disease risk, particularly after heavy rain, in estuaries and embayments, for consumers of shellfish or swimmers.
  • Habitat loss through sea level rise, and ecological change through sea temperature and acidity change.
  • Duneland loss through over-stabilisation.
  • Saltmarsh loss through historical reclamation.
  • Loss of the natural vegetated terrestrial margin buffer.
  • Habitat loss through shoreline armouring.


Comment by Jo Donaldson:
[Posted 27 October 2012]

Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend the meeting. But could someone please ask if there are measurements being made of the levels of radiation in the sea water?

The tragedy at Fukishima has dumped an unknown quantity of radioactive waste into the ocean. And now there are thousands of tons of radioactive water that has been used to try to cool the reactors and they have no way to properly dispose of this water. We assume that this is going to end up in the ocean also.

All ocean water is connected and the radioactive water has already reached Australia breeding mutant insects and possibly fish. Who in New Zealand is monitoring the health impacts of this world-wide disaster on our beloved country???!

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