Estuarine Information

Tasman District is home to several internationally and nationally significant estuaries and sand flats, including Wanganui Inlet, Waimea Inlet and Farewell Spit. They are significant because of the rich life they support, including several threatened and migratory birds and many fish species.

Over the last century or more, many of our estuaries have been subject to various discharges from industry or the river catchments feeding them and from disturbances such as reclamation. In some cases, these activities have compromised the health of the ecosystem. To determine the health of our estuaries Tasman District Council began an estuary monitoring programme in 2002.

The Value of Tasman’s Estuaries

Estuaries are valued by many people for their aesthetic appeal, natural character as well as a recreation venue. Another use of estuaries is waste assimilation. Ecologically, estuaries are particularly valued for their remaining important habitats e.g. saltmarsh, seagrass and extensive shellfish beds. Seagrass beds are a very important source of biodiversity and are very productive feeding areas for wading birds.


Enhancing the Life and Character of our Estuaries

So you want to find out how to look after your estuary?

Estuarine Life

Monitoring Tasman’s Estuaries - why, how and where

The State of Tasman’s Estuaries

In general, the state of mud/sand tidal flats in the majority of Tasman’s estuaries is good to moderate.

Threats to the Condition of Tasman’s Estuaries

Estuaries are a sink for contaminants that run off the land.