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Home arrow Articles by Topic arrow Erosion arrow Chocolate rivers, coffee seas
Chocolate rivers, coffee seas PDF Print
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Articles - Erosion
Written by Wade Doak, Divers' Discusson forum, Wade's World   
Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Aerial view of Ngunguru by Adrian Gilbert

N.Z. going down the gurgler

Today beneath the warm, high tide river I wondered how the school of tiny silvery trevally would survive if heavy rain hits, as last year, filling their whole world with a choking cloud of mud.

Inputs of sediments to the New Zealand coastal zone are now especially high by world standards, approaching almost 1% of total world sediment yields. Recent NIWA studies show in detail how sediment is having a huge effect on the survival of many of our commercial fish species at the juvenile stage.

Heavy downpours send plumes of dark brown water far out to sea from Ngunguru River in Northland. It curves north, off Dolphin Bay and beyond. It almost gets to the precious Poor Knights Islands. This ocean pollution happens several times a year. Even a 12mm rainfall has produced a mud plume. A slug of sediment is wallowing down the tidal reaches of the river. So much mud, even in the inshore waters, is a serious matter for marine life, local fishing, diving and the tourism potentials of which Tutukaka Coast is so proud. It comes from multiple disturbances in the catchment that should be controlled. Some day, perhaps, those who love the sea or profit from it, may engage actively in campaigning against the bad practices happening on land....

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