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Mountains to the sea

Wai Care takes a ‘mountains to the sea’ approach, from the origin of a stream in the mountains to where it enters the sea.  The wider environment also contributes to our streams and is an important factor in our understanding of stream processes and reactions.

A catchment can be described as an area of land, bounded by hills or mountains from which surface and groundwater flow into streams. Wai Care recognises the role of the catchment in stream processes and endeavours to provide knowledge at a catchment scale.  The following pages provide more information on this catchment based approach and the Wai Care water quality database.

What happens on the land within a catchment eventually has an impact on its receiving environment – the sea into which streams flow. Monitoring filter-feeding shellfish such as cockles living in estuary’s and harbours, and changes to their populations over time, is a way to gauge the environmental health of the catchment and whether stream restoration efforts are making a difference over the long term. Click here to find out more about the Hauraki Gulf Forum’s Community Shellfish Monitoring Programme.