Thursday, 15 October 2020

Marlborough beaches recreational survey

Marlborough beach survey

As part of our RECOVER earthquake recovery research the Marine Ecology Research Group has established an online survey to assist the Marlborough community in recording and understanding the level and types of recreational beach uses that are occurring at present on the earthquake-affected coast

We are hoping to capture a comprehensive view of recreational activities and interests. This information will be beneficial to the wider community to support decision-making on earthquake recovery needs and potential strategies for achieving the best outcomes looking ahead. The survey is open to all interested people who are 18+ years of age (for informed consent reasons) and have information they would like to share.

The survey questions are open-ended and allow for any activity, view or perspective to be recorded. Privacy will be maintained at all times and no identifying information is asked for or collected. UC will be preparing summaries of the results and these will be made freely accessible via an online link.

Please access the Marlborough survey on the following link www.surveymonkey.com/r/MarlboroughBeachSurvey


Wednesday, 19 August 2020

Risk factors for coastal conservation revealed by the Canterbury earthquakes

We're pleased to announce publication of the companion paper to ‘Coastal tectonics and habitat squeeze’ in the international journal Science of the Total Environment.

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.141241

This paper investigates the resilience of coastal vegetation to the effects of relative sea-level change which is the subject of very few empirical studies due to the scarcity of sea-level change events of appreciable magnitude in modern times. The novel opportunity provided by the Canterbury earthquakes allowed us to design a robust impact assessment to quantify effects and identify anthropogenic factors that influenced the pattern of losses or gains. 

The findings illustrate opportunities for managing risks to coastal vegetation types such as saltmarsh which are threatened by sea-level rise. 

The conservation of these characteristic ecosystems is of global importance for the sequestration and storage of blue carbon alongside many other ecosystem services that include considerable habitat values for characteristic wildlife such as waders and shorebirds in the Christchurch case.

In summarising results from the study we derived four key principles for building the resilience of coastal ecosystems that will be of interest to coastal managers worldwide.


Monday, 13 July 2020

Coastal tectonics and habitat squeeze

We're pleased to announce publication of a new paper in the international journal Natural Hazards.
This is the first chapter in the 'Resilient Shorelines' Ph.D. 

https://doi.org/10.1007/s11069-020-04147-w


The Canterbury earthquakes provided a rare opportunity to observe the actual effects of a sea-level rise event. This study explores the impacts of hydrological changes resulting from tectonic ground movement in low-lying coastal environments, and draws analogies with future climate change.

The paper describes landscape-scale changes and assess interactions with human land-use patterns and disaster recovery responses that include a large scale managed retreat. The results illustrate mechanisms by which 'coastal squeeze' effects may occur with sea-level rise - and also ways to avoid them through innovative planning and design.  

Principles identifiable from the actual impacts in this case provide useful insights for other situations of sea-level rise.

We highlight the need for an improved focus on whole-system resilience in responding to sea-level changes, and the importance of disaster recovery processes for adaptation to climate change.

there is also a companion paper (available here) that evaluates impacts on coastal vegetation and consequences for conserving important ecosystems over time.


Saturday, 6 June 2020

International interest in drone surveys

It was great too see a recent article Barbara Barkhausen in a German magazine focussing on New Zealand's environment and appeal as a tourism destination.

Read the online version here:
http://www.360grad-neuseeland.de/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3072:so-erholt-sich-die-natur-nach-einem-erdbeben&catid=68&Itemid=62

See more aerial images on our Feacebook page here

Wednesday, 31 July 2019

Thursday, 20 June 2019

Kaikōura earthquake recovery - loss of connectivity and the necessity of a cross‐ecosystem perspective

Article just published in Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Resources from our Kaikōura earthquake recovery work.

The Kaikōura earthquake in southern New Zealand: Loss of connectivity of marine communities and the necessity of a cross‐ecosystem perspective.
https://doi.org/10.1002/aqc.3122

Monday, 3 June 2019

Stuff article on Kaikōura whitebait

Great article by Sophie Trigger at the Marlborough Express that features our recent work investigating earthquake impacts on river mouths along the Kaikōura coast.

We were able to locate several whitebait spawning sites and made some interesting discoveries with many of them occurring on flood events. Read more about an ecological experiment to rescue eggs stranded high on the riverbank with the help of the Environment Canterbury flood management team.
https://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/112863187/kaikura-whitebait-discovery-could-have-flowon-effects

Friday, 31 May 2019

Quantifying earthquake impacts using drones

A recent Stuff article by Alice Angeloni featured our survey work using drones to map recovery processes on the Kaikōura coast.

We have completed a variety of these high-resolution surveys to investigate diverse aspects of recovery that include habitat shifts and vegetation recovery at our study sites. The sites themselves are characterised by a a variety of environmental conditions and different degrees of uplift resulting from the earthquake event. The high degree of spatiotemporal variation makes the identification of overall impact a challenging task!

https://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/121606479/drone-shots-show-marine-recovery-along-quakestricken-kaikoura-coast

Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Whitebait spawning in Lyell Creek Waikōau

Nice article in the Kaikōura Star on our surpise finding of whitebait spawning sites in downstown Kaikōura.

The spawning habitat in this area has benefitted from riparian restoration work in Lyell Creek / Waikōau since the earthquakes.

Monday, 25 March 2019

Whitebait spawning surveys in Kaikōura coastal rivers

This summer we've been working
to fill a knowledge gap about whitebait in streams and rivers along the Kaikōura coast. Knowing where they are is useful for recovery planning in the same areas post-earthquake as well as for restoration projects in local waterways.

Our survey programme started with fish trapping to find out which species were living in which rivers, after which we selected waterways that were suspected to have good īnanga populations. They included seven catchments close to Kaikōura (Oaro, Kahutara, Lyell / Waikōau, Middle, Swan, Harnetts and Blue Duck) as well as other sites in Marlborough. After four months of surveying we discovered at least one spawning event in all of these streams and rivers and were able to map the spawning locations including some large sites!

Tuesday, 29 January 2019

Recover newsletter issue 2 on Kaikōura coastal recovery

Image may contain: 1 person, text
#RECOVER Issue 2 features paua population monitoring, hotspots for banded dotterels, and seaweed recovery experiments from the Kaikōura coast.

Available online here http://hdl.handle.net/10092/16796

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Te Tiaki Inanga project with Department of Conservation


It was fantastic to see some of our work communicated in the new Department of Conservation brochure on using straw bales as temporary īnanga spawning habitat

This project was a truly a collaborative effort thanks to Helen Kettles in the National Estuaries team (thanks Helen!)The team included Helen Kettles, Martin Rutledge, Leana Barriball, Sarah Wilcox, Peter Badalamenti and Laurence Walls (DOC), Pātaka Moore and Caleb Royal (Te Wānanga o Raukawa), and Mike Hickford and myself from the University of Canterbury.

Our kaupapa included piloting a draft version of the resource with several community groups across New Zealand, and their feedback added extra value to the finsihed result. Some of the key people and groups involved were Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Ngā Mokopuna (Te Whanganui a Tara), Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Rito (Ōtaki), Te Kura a Iwi o Whakatupuranga Rua Mano (Ōtaki), Brooke Ashleigh Turner (DOC, Living Waters) and Jason Roxburgh (Living Matters – Biodiversity & Ecology Solutions), Grant and Rosemary Webby (Waiwhetu Stream Care), Henk Stengs (DOC) and the Cobden Aromahana Ecological Restoration Group.

We were also fortunate to have specialist expertise and advice for preparing a Te Reo translation and whakapapa design thanks to Ruiha Leonard and Sian Montgomery-Neutze.

Check out the Te Reo Māori and English versions of the Te Tiaki Īnanga brochure here:

Read more about the Te Tiaki Īnanga project on the DOC website here
This was an awesome project and we hope it will assist other community restoration groups interested in using this technique.

He iti te mokoroa nāna te kahikatea i kakati
Even the small can make a big impact!

Thursday, 25 October 2018

Inanga ora ki te awa o Waitara

It's been great working on this project with Waitara Alive and the Ōtaraua Hapū along with Waitara High School students to better understand the health of whitebait spawning sites along the Waitara River. 
The project is comparing present day spawning site health and abundance to historical evidence collected from local kaumatua. By contrasting past with present, the Inanga Ora project team hope to identify how spawning habitat is changing, and what can be done to better protect it.

The project was funded by the 'Curious Minds' He Hihiri I Te Mahara. Participatory Science Platform.
Check out a recent update from the Venture Taranaki here

Thursday, 21 June 2018

Recovery of near-shore environments from impacts of Kaikoura the earthquake

This article provides a summary of changes to the nearshore ecosystem resulting from uplift effects of the Kaikōura earthquake.

Our MBIE funded RECOVER project will be assessing initial recovery trajectories over a 130 km section of the earthquake-impacted coast.

Read more in NZ Coastal Society Special Publication 'Shaky Shores'
https://www.coastalsociety.org.nz/media/view/publications/shaky-shores-coastal-impacts-and-responses-to-the-2016-kaikoura-earthquakes/

Monday, 11 June 2018

Earthquakes cause the relocation of spawning habitat on a catchment scale

The story of how whitebait spawning sites shifted to new areas after the Canterbury earthquakes - and became exposed to new vulnerabilities.
This spatial ecology study reveals how and where we can take action to protect them.


Read more here

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Using artificial habitats as a natural habitat detection tool


We have a new paper published in the journal Ecological Indicators that describes the science behind using artificial habitats (such as straw bales) to as a detection tool.

We used this approach to help identify īnanga spawning habitat in degraded waterways where egg mortality can make it difficult to find the eggs directly.

Read more here

Monday, 6 November 2017

New methods paper - Census survey approach for īnanga spawning habitat

Waterways and MERG have recently published details of a survey methodology for locating and mapping īnanga spawning sites near coastal rivermouths. 

Read more here.



Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Evaluation of Christchurch City Council's riparian management trial

Christchurch City Council (CCC) recently changed its riparian vegetation clearance practices for a trial period in the summer of 2016/17. While the trial has wider objectives around improved environmental outcomes, īnanga spawning habitat is directly affected by bank cutting and other forms of vegetation clearance. A survey of īnanga (Galaxias maculatus) spawning habitat was completed in April 2017 to evaluate effects of the trial.

Benefits of the trial included increasing the availability of high quality spawning habitat and the discovery of new spawning sites. The Avon/Ōtākaro supported a relatively high area of occupation (AOO) of spawning sites for a single month in comparison to other years. In the Heathcote/Ōpāwaho spawning was found at new sites including upstream of Opawa Road. However, egg production was relatively low in the Heathcote/Ōpāwaho versus the same month in previous years. This suggests a shift in the month of peak spawning activity or a possible adult population decline and requires consecutive month surveys to confirm the actual trend.

The full report is available on the CCC website here:
Response of īnanga spawning habitat to riparian vegetation management

Monday, 19 June 2017

Floodplain planning - a case study on regeneration oppportunities in a post-disaster setting

We're pleased to announce the findings of a three-part study on ecological 'regeneration' opportunities for the red-zoned lands in Avon / Ōtākaro river corridor. The study was supported by Avon-Ōtākaro Network in collaboration with Avon-Ōtākaro Forest Park and Greening the Red Zone.

This study provides an analysis of considerations for land-use planning (including sea level rise), with a focus on opportunities for ecological restoration and building resilience to climate change.

Monday, 12 June 2017

NZ's largest known area of inanga spawning found in Christchurch waterways!

An unexpected result of our earthquake studies was the discovery that  īnanga spawning habitat had expanded, and was more extensive than ever previously recorded in Christchurch's waterways.

Further surveys in 2016 found that even larger areas were being used. The total area of spawning was around 2x
the next largest area recorded anywhere in New Zealand !

Read more >>

Monday, 5 June 2017

New spawning sites found in Aromahana Lagoon in Greymouth

Dr. Mike Hickford and I recently visited an community restoration project on Cobden Island in the Grey River and nearby Aromahana Lagoon. Our main goal was to scope out a survey strategy for monitoring īnanga spawning in this area. Time was short but we did manage to find two new spawning sites. 

This is an innovative floodplain restoration project on an impressive scale. Thanks to Henk Stengs at DOC for showing us around!

Read more >>




Tuesday, 3 January 2017

New Zealand Coastal Society award

Thanks to the New Zealand Coastal Society for the Best Overall Presentation prize at the 2016 New Zealand Coastal Society conference He Waka Eke Noa: Linking Science, Engineering, Management and Community. I was completely taken by surprise given the many excellent speakers!

The conference is held each year and attracts diverse attendance from scientists, engineers, and planners, with presentation covering a wide range of contemporary management topics.

Read more >>

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Spawning habitat maps for Ōtautahi waterways

These maps show results from two years of spawning site surveys plus two years of straw bale experiments in the waterways of Ōtautahi Christchurch. Compare them with the Whaka Inaka maps where we took all of the known sites at the end of 2015 and tested if there might be others both in the gaps and further upstream/downstream. And yes there were.
These maps are available as free downloads. There's some other maps available too ..
check them out here www.resilientshorelines.nz/p/resources.html

Friday, 4 November 2016

Resilience research on whitebait featured in UC Chronicle

The September 2016 issue of the Chronicle He Kupu Whakamahara ran a story on our research into the resilience of whitebait spawning sites in Ōtautahi Christchurch following the earthquakes.

Follow the link here to the article online

Some recent publications relating to this work:

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Workshop on coastal & marine citizen science



                   Link to the full report here






I teamed up with Helen Kettles (DOC) to run a workshop on Coastal & Marine Citizen Science in New Zealand as a side event for the NZ Marine Sciences Society (NZMSS) and Australian Marine Sciences Association (AMSA) 2016 conference in Wellington. This was a first meeting specific to coastal and marine citizen science in New Zealand. A group of 29 participants attended and there was a strong Australian contingent which added a welcome dimension to the conversation.

Friday, 19 August 2016

Using citizen science for coastal data collection

Citizen science has come of age in New Zealand and there are a wide range of opportunities for coastal scientists and practitioners to make use of, or contribute to it.

This recent article in Coastal News provides an overview of some recent highlights and progress in this fast moving field.

Read more >>




Thursday, 30 June 2016

Case study on community-led restoration projects and climate change

A case study of three coastal restoration projects looking at community-led approaches and climate change is in the new publication "Adapting to the consequences of climate change: Engaging with communities".

Link to the article here "Community-led approaches and climate change: Perspectives from coastal restoration projects"

The aim of this new NZCS publication is to support work with communities as they adapt to the consequences of climate change. It has been written to assist coastal professionals, decision-makers and communities in preparing for sea-level rise and the associated effects of climate change.

Monday, 27 June 2016

Ngāi Tahu Research Centre seminar: earthquake recovery in Ōtautahi Christchurch watwerways


Results from our research into the effects of the Canterbury earthquakes on īnanga spawning sites in the Avon Heathcote Estuary / Ihutai catchment in Ōtautahi Christchurch. It's a story of the resilience and recovery of an iconic New Zealand species following a major disturbance. Thanks to the Ngāi Tahu Research Centre and UC Audio Visual unit the recent seminar was videoed. View the clip on U-tube here.

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