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Introduction

Northland’s coastline includes 14 major harbours, many smaller estuaries and extensive stretches of rocky and sandy open coast.  The Northland Regional Council carries out monitoring of the region’s coastal environment to record the state of this resource, the effects of human activity and detect changes over time.

Maintaining coastal water quality at a good level is important to Northland’s residents, economy and the many diverse forms of marine life that live in this environment.

Coastal water quality is influenced by inputs from rivers and streams, urban and rural runoff and direct discharges into the coast.  As land use and urban development intensify, coastal water quality comes under increasing pressure.  The impact of development on water quality is likely to be worse in semi-enclosed coastal water bodies, such as estuaries and harbours.

Bay of Islands.Bay of Islands.