Healthy estuaries are productive and diverse environments, home to a wide range of birds, fish and aquatic invertebrates.
Council is systematically studying the health of the main estuaries in the Sounds.
Since 2011, monitoring has occurred in Wairau River Estuary, Queen Charlotte Sound/Tōtaranui, Pelorus Sound/Te Hoiere, Croisilles Harbour and D’Urville Island/Rangitoto Ki Te Tonga.
Most of our estuaries are in good condition, with seagrass beds and saltmarsh meadows providing habitat and essential ecological functions.
Seagrass has declined in some estuaries in the inner Pelorus Sound/Te Hoiere due to mud build up from poor catchment land practices causing topsoil loss.
For more information on estuary research and monitoring throughout the country, visit the Department of Conservation’s estuaries hub.