Enhancing the Life and Character of our Estuaries

Tasman District Council undertakes education and advocacy via workshops and events to promote successful estuarine habitat restoration, and workshops on reducing sediment discharges from site developments. Additional tools include the use of regulation to place controls which ensure sustainable development and where necessary exclusion.

Learn about estuarine restoration and consider re-establishing the natural sequence of vegetation from the inter-tidal area to well above the high tide mark. Join a CoastCare group – it is more fun and there is a better result with the combined expertise. Consider building hides for bird-watching.


Approximately 30% of saltmarsh in Golden and Tasman Bays has been lost, mostly to reclamation (this excludes Abel Tasman area). The Moutere and Ruataniwha estuaries have suffered the largest loss at 50% and 40% respectively. Saltmarsh is one of the most productive environments on earth and serves as an important nursery ground and wildlife habitat. It also provides for flood and erosion control, improvements to water quality and carbon sequestration.

While reclamation of saltmarshes rarely occurs today, they are likely to be threatened by sea level rise.

Restoration of saltmarsh communities is encouraged by Council provided it is appropriate to the site and does not cause any significant adverse effects on neighbouring landowners. Many opportunities exist for restoring biodiversity, landscape and amenity values. While as yet there are no formal restoration plans for our estuaries, the following document has some useful pointers on saltmarsh restoration.

Other useful resources include: