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Published: 2001-12-17 00:00:00

Environment Waikato will be taking a close look at what is happening in the estuary at Raglan over the next few years.

The Council is monitoring five permanent sites around the harbour to determine the health of the estuary and its various living creatures over time, as well as testing the effectiveness of its policies in the area.

Coastal scientist Dr Stephanie Turner said the monitoring will study the animals that live in intertidal soft sediments as well as sediment grain size, sediment erosion and deposition. The monitoring will link with the other monitoring the Council does in the area.

“Our State of the Environment report says estuaries are one of the coastal areas most at risk from human activities. They have lost habitat and fish numbers and water quality is often declining.

“Estuaries are highly productive areas which provide important feeding, spawning and nursery habitats for fish, shellfish and birds. They trap sediment and nutrients from water which drains from the catchment, as well as having important cultural and scenic values.”

The Raglan area is a case study for the Council’s regional estuary monitoring programme and is one of a type of estuary in the Region being studied.

“We want to learn more about it so we can better manage it and other estuaries in the Region. Monitoring will provide valuable information.”

The work began in May this year and will continue long term. The Council is also interested in hearing from anyone who would like to be involved and can give a long term commitment to the project.