Wairoa River study needs ac­cess points

Papakura Courier - - FRONT PAGE - PJ TAY­LOR

NIWA re­searchers are seek­ing the help of landown­ers with a new study of the Wairoa River and its trib­u­taries. The project aims to find out the sources of fine sed­i­ment in the beds and banks of the catch­ment’s water­ways.

Fine sed­i­ments are a com­mon pol­lu­tant gen­er­ated by soil ero­sion, re­spon­si­ble for de­clin­ing aquatic ecosys­tems and im­pair­ing recre­ational, cul­tural and aes­thetic val­ues in rivers, es­tu­ar­ies and coasts. NIWA has de­vel­oped a sci­en­tific method of trac­ing the sources of fine sed­i­ments by land use, used to in­form catch­ment man­age­ment.

NIWA aquatic bio­geo­chemist Ben Wood­ward says the Wairoa catch­ment is an ‘‘ex­cel­lent nat­u­ral lab­o­ra­tory’’ that has been sub­stan­tially af­fected by fine sed­i­ments over the past cen­tury.

Work is start­ing to col­lect fine sed­i­ment sam­ples at a large num­ber of sites, and par­tic­u­larly at points where two water­ways meet. With much of the Wairoa River run­ning through private prop­erty, NIWA is ask­ing for the as­sis­tance of landown­ers to ac­cess ap­pro­pri­ate sites. Send an email to Ben Wood­ward at ben.wood­ward@niwa.co.nz or phone 07 856 1754.

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