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Whangamoa Inlet - Kokorua

Whangamoa Inlet - Kokorua (68ha) is a shallow, well flushed, intertidal dominated, tidal lagoon located on the eastern side of Tasman Bay between Delaware Inlet and Cape Soucis. The catchment (3787ha) is relatively steep and modified, with the dominant land use being exotic forestry (44%). Pasture (5%) covers most of the valley floors around the margins of Whangamoa River and the smaller streams that flow into the eastern estuary.

The estuary has low human use (primarily due to restricted public access), and high ecological values including regionally rare pockets of mature native forest and native dune plants adjacent to the estuary.  

The estuary supports extensive intertidal rushlands and herbfields (20ha, 35%), and small areas of seagrass (<1%). There are a variety of substrate types in the estuary, with extensive cobble and gravel beds in the lower estuary, and firm muddy sands and soft muds elsewhere.

In the upper northeast and southeast arms of the estuary, ~25ha (44%) of intertidal habitat has elevated mud contents (>25% mud), with relatively high concentrations of nickel, chromium and other trace metals from naturally enriched catchment soilsIdentified stressors are mud inputs, and potential nutrient enrichment, and the presence of invasive species such as Pacific oysters and ice plant.

Estuary summary

What makes my estuary unique?

Explore the characteristics of this estuary

Overview

Estuary characteristics

  • Significant features
    • 20 ha intertidal salt marsh 
    • 1 ha intertidal seagrass 
    • 37.1 ha sand-dominated sediments
    • 9.8 ha mud-dominated sediments
  • Total area
    68 hectares

What's happening upstream?

See results from monitored river quality sites influencing this estuary

River quality

What's happening upstream?

The physical characteristics and health of estuaries are influenced by the rivers and streams flowing into them. For instance, when it rains the mud and contaminants generated on land can be washed into rivers and eventually flow into the estuary. The health of our rivers and streams can therefore be very important for Estuary Health, and understanding the upstream pressures can help with interpreting estuary monitoring data. Monitoring is undertaken for a range of river health indicators (e.g., water quality and ecology) in many catchments across the region. Where there are monitored river catchments that influence this estuary, these are shown below. You can click through to view monitoring results from these River Quality sites to see current state and how health has changed over time.

What surrounds my estuary?

See land cover information from monitored catchments that surround this estuary

Land cover

What surrounds my estuary?

The physical characteristics and health of estuaries are influenced by local geography and the way we use our land. This is because estuaries are the receiving environments for many of our land use activities. Land cover information can be used as an indicator of land use, therefore knowing the surrounding land cover can help us understand which pressures might be affecting Estuary Health. For example, the sandflats of estuaries surrounded by rural areas will typically contain contaminants related to rural activities (e.g., cadmium from crop fertilisers and copper from fungicides), whereas those surrounded by urban areas are more likely to contain contaminants associated with cities (e.g., zinc and lead from roads and building materials). Where there is land cover information available for nearby catchments, these are listed below. These figures show the types of vegetation and built or natural features that surround the estuary margins and the rivers that flow into this estuary. You can click through to the Land Cover topic to see these land cover classes broken down into further detail, and view changes over time.

Monitored sites 2

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