Toi tu te marae o Tane-Mahuta, toi tu te marae o Tangaroa, toi tu te tangata
When the land and sea are looked after, the people will prosper
From sheltered bays in the Marlborough Sounds to the exposed coast south of Cape Campbell, Marlborough has about 1,800km of coastline that many people enjoy for recreation or rely on for a living.
Council works with several Government agencies including the Department of Conservation and Ministry for Primary Industries to look after the coastal area. This is a complicated task, covering more than 725,000ha of water with many competing interests that must be managed and balanced. Tourism, aquaculture, fishing, mahinga kai (customary food gathering) and recreation all depend on healthy coastal ecosystems and good water quality.
Marine and land activities such as farming, forestry and sewage discharge all have a direct impact on the coastal environment. Council regulates the different activities in the Sounds through the Resource Management Plan and consenting process. This work is backed up by research and monitoring to help understand the effects of land and water use and provide information for future planning and protection.
Coastal Monitoring Strategy
Good management of the coastal environment depends on measuring what is happening in the water and what trends may be developing.
A comprehensive list of all our Coastal reports
Videos on our You Tube channel on Coastal information.
Coastal water quality
Reviews the methods that Council use to monitor the water quality in the Marlborough Sounds and the activities that impact on water quality.
There are various small communities throughout the Marlborough Sounds, which Council works with to find out what's happening.
Ecologically Significant Marine Habitats
Council holds a treasure trove of scientific information about marine life and underwater habitat in the Sounds – much of it from expert reports.
Healthy estuaries are productive and diverse environments, home to a wide range of birds, fish and aquatic invertebrates.
Historical Ecosystem Change
Council has embarked on a project to identify how coastal ecosystems have changed since human habitation of the Marlborough Sounds.
Iwi and Coastal Marlborough
Coastal Marlborough holds great spiritual and practical significance to the eight tangata whenua iwi of Te Tau Ihu – the top of the South.
The sheltered bays and clean waters of the Marlborough Sounds make it a favoured environment for marine farming (aquaculture).
Picton Bays, which includes Picton Harbour, Waikawa and Shakespeare Bay, are an iconic part of Marlborough. Picton is the gateway to the Marlborough Sounds.
Places and Values
The Marlborough Sounds are a unique combination of land, sea and human history.
Seabed Habitat Mapping
With mountains and valleys, canyons and plains, and ridges and reefs – the seabed is as complex as the land.
Sedimentation of estuaries and seabed habitats is a natural process, caused by slips in native forest.
The introduction of fast ferries in the 1990s resulted in damage to shorelines and mortality of shellfish thrown up on beaches.