Kaipara Harbour sediment mitigation study: harbour benthic ecology narrative

Drew Loher
Publication date:

Northland Regional Council with support from Auckland Council and Ministry for the Environment have contracted a consortium led by Streamlined Environmental Ltd and consisting of Streamlined Environmental, Landcare Research, NIWA and the University of Otago, to conduct the Kaipara Harbour Sediment Mitigation Study, KHSMS.

The first aim of the Study is to develop a catchment economic model for use in assessing the economic costs and environmental benefits of a range of scenarios for mitigating sediment losses to rivers and estuaries within the Kaipara Harbour catchment. The second aim of the Study is to develop a management tool for use in formulating consistent farm-scale sediment mitigation plans. The tool will be easily usable by land management advisors in the field to identify appropriate actions to mitigate critical source areas of sediment under different land uses at the farm scale.

This report provides a narrative assessment of how changes in annual average sedimentation rate (AASR) in the harbour, in response to management actions taken in the catchment, will translate into changes in harbour ecosystem health and functioning. Daigneault et al. (2017) used the NZFARM spatially explicit integrated catchment economic model to predict catchment sediment runoff and associated AASR under each of 12 scenarios (various combinations of landuse change and sediment mitigation applied in the catchment). Predictions of AASR were made for 9 depositional basins in the harbour.

The analysis required information on sedimentation thresholds sufficient to cause ecological harm. A default guideline value of 2 mm/y above the total natural sedimentation rate in each depositional zone (i.e., total AASR predicted under conditions of full native forest cover and intact wetlands) was used for this purpose.

NIWA client report number: 2017395HN

Prepared for Streamlined Environmental Ltd

See also:

Kaipara Harbour sediment mitigation study: catchment economic modelling

Kaipara Harbour sediment mitigation study: narrative assessment of freshwater sediment attribute predictions

Kaipara Harbour sediment mitigation study: summary

Last updated: 2018-02-09