Location: Auckland Region, New Zealand
Type of Project: Ecological and Biological Assessment
Client: Auckland Regional Council (ARC), New Zealand
From left to right: A Sediment yield map; a map showing the threat in the Whangateau and Southern Tawharunui Peninsula catchment areas based on the estimated suspended sediment yield; and a map of significant vegetation sites threatened.
ASR Ltd performed a desk-top assessment for the Auckland Regional Council (ARC) focused on identifying regionally significant estuarine and coastal receiving environments within the Auckland region. The study evaluated the risk to these environments associated with catchment disturbances – primarily sedimentation. One of the central aims of project was the development of a GIS (Geographic Information System) tool to aid the ARC in identifying where additional controls on land use practices, as well as other methods, might be required to sustain the natural character and ecological functions of vulnerable "high value" (regionally significant) areas. Catchments were linked to the areas of significant marine receiving environments via hydrodynamic numerical modeling (i.e. tidal and wave models were developed for the entire Auckland region).
The primary purpose of the study was to identify catchments where current controls on environmentally risky landuse activities may not be sufficient to ensure the long term sustainability of nationally and/or regionally important coastal ecosystems. The ARC stipulated that the assessment must clearly show the criteria used in the evaluation and the rationale for designating particular coastal receiving environments as regionally significant. Accordingly, the assessment needed to show which sites warrant a higher level of protection than others as well as which sites were likely to be adequately managed through existing provisions. ASR's GIS-ready output products provided a great deal of flexibility in how the data could be integrated, accessed and evaluated. The data and tools were handed over to the ARC and are currently in use in planning and decision making.« Download Project PDF