The things people do on land can have a big impact on the ecological health of the Region’s estuaries and other coastal habitats. Littering, driving on coastal areas and dunes, or not picking up after dogs can negatively impact these sensitive areas. Major issues such as sewage spills; contamination from storm water and landfills; and sediment from development, farming or forestry activities can wash into estuaries during heavy rain, harming coastal ecosystems.
The cumulative effects felt from multiple stressors is leading to a decline in estuary health over time.
Monitoring focuses on sediment health as a primary indicator of condition. We measure sediment properties and levels of nutrients and heavy metals. We also identify and count the invertebrate animals living in the sediments as an indicator of environmental health.