Coastal monitoring

We're monitoring our coastline and harbours in a range of areas such as swimming water quality, estuary health and coastal incidents.

State of the Environment Monitoring

The regional council has six main State of the Environment monitoring programmes around Te Taitokerau’s coast:

  • coastal water quality
  • coastal sediment quality
  • estuary monitoring
  • marine plastic and litter
  • shellfish monitoring
  • dune monitoring.

Read more about our Coastal State of the Environment monitoring

Compliance monitoring

We monitor all activities authorised by resource consents in the coastal marine environment, including:

  • coastal structures such as sea walls, jetties and boat ramps
  • aquaculture
  • industrial and stormwater discharges.

Find out more about resource consents in our consents section

If you’re doing construction in the coastal marine area, read our Guidelines for construction work in the coastal marine area. You'll find information that will help you comply with any resource consent to work within Northland's coastline and protect our environment.

Environmental Incidents

We investigate environmental incidents, including unauthorised coastal structures and discharges.

If you want to report an environmental incident, please contact our 24-hour environmental hotline on 0800 504 639 or email [email protected]

Swimming water quality

Each summer, we test the water quality at many of Northland's popular coastal and freshwater swimming spots. This is to ensure it’s suitable for swimming.

Testing starts in late November each year and continues through to March the following year.

Find out more about our water quality monitoring for summer swimming

Community coastal monitoring

We want to build a holistic understanding of the region's coastline – but Northland has a coastline length of 3200km, and it's logistically difficult for us to monitor it all. So we’re encouraging the public to get involved.

We're working with Marine Metre Squared (Mm2) to provide an easy way for anyone to survey the plants and animals living on their local seashore, and measure changes over time. We can help with choosing sites, providing some resources and giving monitoring guidance.

Northland Regional Council and Mm2 encourage everyone to participate in long-term monitoring of our marine environment. Anyone can take part: individuals, families, schools, community groups and more.

If you'd like to find out more, email our team at: [email protected]

Ready to go monitoring?

We also encourage the community to monitor litter and plastic in the environment. Council has collaborated with external organisations to provide two free, easy ways to help map and reduce litter in our waterways, which you can use.

Go to: Coastal litter monitoring in Northland to find out more 

Coastal litter monitoring - Hātea River, Whāngarei.

Coastal litter monitoring - Hātea River, Whāngarei.