Taranaki’s coastal environment is known for its surf, rocky reefs and sandy beaches. However, also scattered along the coast are a number of tidal river estuaries. While these estuaries are relatively small on a national scale they provide an important habitat for a range of fish, birds and invertebrates. Additionally, river estuaries hold significant cultural importance for iwi and hapū and are valued for recreational activities like swimming, kayaking and white-baiting.
The Taranaki Regional Council currently monitors four estuaries to characterize and track their health. Monitoring has identified that sedimentation is affecting some of the region’s larger estuaries, while under certain conditions excess nutrients affect some of the smaller estuaries.