Sediment and Seashores Project

The NZ Marine Studies Centre and the Department of Marine Science gained funding in 2016 from the Participatory Science Platform - Otago Pilot - to link with schools and community groups to investigate the consequences of dredging on Otago Harbour rocky shore communities to see how these communities respond to sediment deposition and increased turbidity in the water column.

The project involved schools and local groups working alongside postgraduate marine scientists to establish monitoring sites, photograph and survey the marine community over time using Marine Metre Squared (Mm2) techniques. The objective was to set up long-term monitoring sites and integrate the project into schools’ long-term science plans.

In 2017 further funding was granted which took the project to another level. Schools and community groups continued with the data collection - see the photos below. Scientists also collected data along the rocky shore using similar methods as used by the students and it was found that there was no statistically significant difference between the student’s data and the scientist’s data.

Reports are available on the findings as follows:

Sediments and Seashores Report 2016.pdf

Sediments and Seashores Report 2017.pdf

Sediments and Seashores Report 2018.pdf

For more information about the Sediment and Seashores Project:

See the University of Otago news article


Watch a video about the Sediment and Seashores Project video
Watch the Channel 9 video report on the Sediment and Seashores Project
For information about animals and plants found during shore surveys check out our 'Community Stories' tab

Oyster Borer Eggs

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Sea Cucumbers

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Limpet Egg Masses

Unusual egg masses on the rocks on the shore.

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Pink Poo!

Why is gull poo pink at certain times of the year?

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About Us

The Marine Metre Squared website,, is a citizen-science project and is owned and managed by the NZ Marine Studies Centre, University of Otago. Content is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial–ShareAlike license, unless otherwise stated.