There are currently six marinas in Northland. NRC is responsible for ensuring compliance with their respective resource consents. The resource consents require individual monitoring programmes for each marina, which can include measuring bacteria in the water and heavy metals in both sediments and water.
In 2007-08, bacteriological water quality in all marinas in Northland was found to be within the limits set by the respective resource consents. This indicates that the berths within the marinas are complying with the ‘no discharge' conditions imposed by the Regional Coastal Plan for Northland, Marine Pollution Regulations and resource consent.
Results from heavy metal analysis undertaken in 2007-08 show general compliance across most marinas in Northland. However, levels of Copper within Tutukaka marina were found to be elevated above ANZECC guidelines. Further sampling is proposed for 2008-09 in this marina.
A review of the way NRC monitors marinas is currently underway. It is proposed to move away from effects and enforcement based monitoring, which is highly labour-intensive and costly, to an education and elimination based approach. This would involve marinas requiring lock-off of sewage facilities on all berthed vessels and education of berth holders. It is hoped this would allow for better management of marinas and provide better environmental outcomes in the long-term.