oceans, stars, and forestry in NZ Geographic

 At low tide, the mudflats of Waimea Inlet rise above the water. This is the largest enclosed estuary in the South Island, and was affected by heavy sedimentation in the 1960s and 1970s, with 170 hectares of intertidal habitat lost. It’s also an internationally significant area for migratory birds. Starting this year is a plan to increase saltmarsh area and reduce sediment contamination. ROB SUISTED

At low tide, the mudflats of Waimea Inlet rise above the water. This is the largest enclosed estuary in the South Island, and was affected by heavy sedimentation in the 1960s and 1970s, with 170 hectares of intertidal habitat lost. It’s also an internationally significant area for migratory birds. Starting this year is a plan to increase saltmarsh area and reduce sediment contamination. ROB SUISTED

The latest New Zealand Geographic magazine (my favourite) features three of my stories, out today. There's a 4000-word feature on ecosystem-based management, which means looking at every impact on our coastal waters from mountains to sea. It was fascinating talking to the Sustainable Seas Science Challenge scientists who are conducting the research that will help us understand our coastal environment better. The work will hopefully enable stability in the marine environment and the Holy Grail: a "blue economy" that means sustainability becomes an economic reward too. Check it out here

 Once sediment enters the water, it falls to the sea floor, and it’s usually held in place there by plants and animals. But dredging and bottom-trawling remove, injure and kill them, leaving large areas bare, with sediment that is easily resuspended by waves.Suspended sediment affects many bivalves—pictured is an oyster farm in Whangaroa Harbour. ROB SUISTED

Once sediment enters the water, it falls to the sea floor, and it’s usually held in place there by plants and animals. But dredging and bottom-trawling remove, injure and kill them, leaving large areas bare, with sediment that is easily resuspended by waves.Suspended sediment affects many bivalves—pictured is an oyster farm in Whangaroa Harbour. ROB SUISTED

In May and June photographer Rob Suisted travelled the country taking photographs for that article and came across the remnants of the devastating storm in Gisborne that caused such devastation to those downstream of pine plantations. I chatted to a few of the people caught up in the rain and asked them their thoughts on how these disasters can be prevented in the future. Read that photo essay here

 
 Rangi Matamua. PETER DRURY.

Rangi Matamua. PETER DRURY.

 

Finally, I loved talking to Māori astronomer Rangi Matamua, a Waikato University professor in Māori and indigenous studies. His whose journey with the stars began as a university student, when his grandfather handed him a century-old astronomical manuscript written by his ancestors. Among its pages, it contained the Māori names of more than 1000 stars. He's done a huge amount of work on the true meaning of Matariki as well, and argues that Māori need to tell their own stories. Read that piece here

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