Walking the whole length of streams is slow and difficult, but by far the best way to learn about their environmental condition.
Genetic diversity is an important component of biodiversity. Recent NIWA research shows how contaminated stormwater can reduce the genetic diversity of one model freshwater species.
Land-derived sediments and heavy metals are two contaminants threatening the health of New Zealand’s estuaries. NIWA has developed the Urban Stormwater Contaminant (USC) model to predict long-term sediment and heavy metal accumulation under various land-use and management scenarios. The model has recently been applied to the Waitemata and Manukau Harbours to aid planning decisions.