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Oliver Weber

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Ki uta ki tai: Managing catchments for Healthy Estuaries

May 2024

This research provided a new, national overview of the current state of the estuaries.

About 60% of NZ estuary catchments do not meet the NPS-FM bottom line for Total Nitrogen and 70% do not meet the Total Phosphorous bottom line standards for rivers.

This study went on to determine that reducing the nitrogen load by 60% would result in more than 80% of estuary catchments achieving the Nitrogen NPS-FM bottom line. To achieve this, land managers in those catchments would need to implement runoff mitigation strategies, such as riparian planting, and consider some land-use diversification.

However, it highlights that modelling using financially viable land use options to estimate the land use change required in catchments to reach the NPS-FM bottom lines shows land in forestry increasing significantly. There are many reasons why that outcome is not palatable for Aotearoa.

This summary encapsulates the research report for the Our Land and Water component of the cross-National Science Challenge research project Healthy Estuaries Ki Uta Ki Tai.

2448 KB | Adobe Acrobat PDF File

Source: Alexander Herzig, Andrew Neverman, Robbie Price, Michelle Barnes (2024). From mountains to the sea: values and science for an informed kaitiaki/guardian – land. https://doi.org/10.57935/AGR.26001595.v1

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