Bay of Plenty Regional Council established a coastal monitoring programme in 1990 as a part of a Natural Environment Regional Monitoring Network (NERMN) programme covering collection of varied environmental data - air quality, climate, hydrological data, surface and ground water chemistries and marine and freshwater biological data. Such information allows managers to assess the present and potential impacts of consent related activities and provides baseline environmental data.
A total of 53 sites are profiled on an annual basis within the current coastal monitoring programme. Some selected sites are monitored quarterly; others are monitored as necessary, such as after storm events or where a beach is considered to be of significant concern to the public due to impacts on private property.
All beaches between Waihi Beach in the west to Hikuwai Beach in the east are covered by the monitoring programme. This monitoring covers 135 kilometres of the open coastline.
An understanding of the Bay of Plenty beach dynamics is essential for planning and resource management purposes. Exposed sandy beaches are very dynamic, showing both short and long term trends in shape, accretion and erosion patterns. Coastal developments, sand and shingle mining, dredging and dams can all affect the supply of sediment to the coastal zone, and therefore the way the beach systems behave.
Below is the third report detailing the results of the coastal monitoring network initiated by Environment Bay of Plenty in 1990 as part of its NERMN programme.