An interactive investigating the impacts of dredging in Otago Harbour on rocky intertidal species and habitats.

Rights: University of Waikato Published 1 June 2017 Referencing Hub media

This timeline follows the collaborative efforts of Dunedin-area school students and marine scientists to monitor 10 different sites around Otago Harbour. They collected data and photographed marine communities. Participants uploaded the information to the Mm2 (Marine Metre Squared) website for scientific analysis.

Note: To use this interactive timeline, move your cursor or finger over any of the labelled boxes and select to get further information. You can also scroll forwards and backwards or use the arrows in the top section.


February 2015 – Deepening Otago Harbour

Port Otago Limited receives resource consent to deepen its shipping channel to Port Chalmers. Dredging is to begin in July 2015.

Acknowledgement: Public domain

February 2015 – Concerns about sediment

Residents wonder if dredging will affect marine organisms. Suspension feeders like tuaki (cockles) suffer if there is too much sediment in the water.

Acknowledgement: Alasdair and Melissa Macleod

December 2015 – PSP funding

Otago Science Into Action provides Participatory Science Platform funding for the Sediment and Seashores monitoring initiative to be led by the University of Otago.

AcknowledgementOtago Science Into Action

December 2015 – Project planning

Scientists from the University of Otago’s Department of Marine Science and New Zealand Marine Studies Centre meet to develop sampling and data collection protocols.

Acknowledgement: Alice Morrison

January 2016 – Fine tuning

Scientists meet again to refine the data collection methods and modify the Mm2 (Marine Metre Squared) website to suit the project. Local field sites are selected.

Acknowledgement: New Zealand Marine Studies Centre, University of  Otago, Creative Commons

February 2016 – School visits

Ten Dunedin schools join the project. Scientists visit the schools to co-ordinate introductory sessions, field trips and data entry sessions – up to seven sessions per school!

Acknowledgement: New Zealand Marine Studies Centre, University of Otago

April 2016  – First field site visit

From February to April primary and secondary school students visit field sites to collect data and take photos. The students pictured monitored their site while New Era dredged the channel.

Back at school, scientists help students upload data.

Acknowledgement: Otago Science in Action

June 2016 – Second field site visit

During May and June students complete a second round of monitoring and data collection.

Acknowledgement: Otago Science in Action

September 2016 – Feedback

During July to September scientists present preliminary summary data for each site and discuss the findings with the schools.

Students present their findings at community events.

Acknowledgement: New Zealand Marine Studies Centre, University of Otago

October 2016 – Data analysis

Scientists continue to work with and analyse the data, ensuring validity and accuracy.

The monitoring produced baseline information. The project has received funding to extend the data collection for a second year.

Acknowledgement: New Zealand Marine Studies Centre, University of Otago