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A pilot study carried out by NIWA and the University of Auckland has found microplastics in samples collected from the seafloor in the Marlborough Sounds.
Some of the first research into how microplastics are affecting New Zealand fish species has revealed that microplastic fragments can find their way through the gut lining and into muscle tissue.
Where there’s mud, there’s scientists. NIWA divers recently got down and dirty while completing a harbour-wide dive survey in the Wellington area.
Some of the most striking images of lockdown around the world have been the blue skies of cities ordinarily choking in smog. From New Delhi to Los Angeles, Beijing to Paris, the changes were so remarkable they were visible from space.

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Microplastics: a deeper problem than we thought?

There is increasing global concern about the presence of plastic pollution in our oceans. New research from scientists at NIWA and the University of Auckland has identified microplastic particles in marine sediments within the Queen Charlotte Sounds / Tōtaranui, New Zealand. In this pilot study, microplastics were found throughout sediments, up to 50 cm below the seabed. Microplastics were identified in sites near coastal populations and within marine protected areas. Findings showed numerous sizes and shapes of microplastics, indicating they came from multiple sources. The next steps in this research project are to identify the type of plastics and try to establish where they came from.

This month we bring you a full-length edition of FWU, with national river flow and water quality maps and information, and updates on three research projects.

In the past half century, mangroves have increased in extent in estuaries and tidal creeks throughout the upper half of the North Island.

Estuarine restoration research is relatively new in New Zealand and has been largely instigated by community groups that have become increasingly concerned with the decline of plant and animal species.

The statement made by NIWA Principal Scientist, Dr Keith Lassey in a TV3 news story about methane (22 Dec 2009) is correct.

The concentration of methane in the atmosphere is rising, according to measurements made by NIWA.

NIWA has today released measurements from its globally significant Baring Head station showing that southern hemisphere atmospheric methane increased by 0.7% over the two-year period 2007–08. While this increase may not sound like much, it is about 35 times more than all the methane produced by New Zealand livestock each year.

NIWA has developed an Urban Stormwater Contaminant (USC) model to enable urban planners to predict sedimentation and heavy metal accumulation in estuaries and identify problem areas in order to target mitigation measures.
This project was undertaken for Auckland Regional Council to identify significant sources of contaminants in the central Waitemata and southeastern Manukau Harbours.


All staff working on this subject

Principal Technician - Marine Ecology
Principal Scientist - Aquatic Pollution
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Riparian and Wetland Scientist
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Land and Water Scientist
Principal Scientist - Air Quality
Principal Scientist - Aquatic Pollution
Atmospheric Scientist
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Catchment Modeller
Regional Manager - Auckland
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Principal Technician - Environmental Chemistry and Toxicology
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