Bay of Plenty Marine Spatial Planning
Location: Bay of Plenty, New Zealand
Type of Project: Physical, Biological and Ecological Assessment
Developing hydrodynamic and ecological models for a marine management plan
The Bay of Plenty, in New Zealand, represents a region in which diverse ecological, economic, and social uses interact and overlap geographically. To more sustainably manage the natural resources and proposed commercial developments in this area, the regional government commissioned ASR to undertake an ecosystem-based study to identify, model, and map the region’s natural and human forces. ASR performed a series of studies designed to quantify the existing oceanographic environment and assess the likely impacts of proposed aquaculture development schemes. This included coastal water quality assessments, current and temperature measurements, remote sensing, sediment characterization, the analysis of shelf water properties, and biological surveys. Nutrient levels were assessed to determine carrying related to proposed mussel farms.
The data collected in the various studies were used to develop a coupled hydrodynamic and ecological model for the entire Bay of Plenty, which was in tern helped create a Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) tool for the region. The methodologies developed in the field studies and modeling effectively predicted impacts of large-scale aquaculture and climate change on the aquatic environment of the Bay of Plenty. The results from the studies have been incorporated into an MSP-based information management system, and were disseminated by the New Zealand government through a GIS framework, interactive CD’s and DVD’s, presentations, maps, posters, and summary leaflets.« Download Project PDF