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Scientists survey sand on the sea shore

Scientists survey sand on the sea shore

More will be known about Wellington harbour's sandy beaches following a survey for Greater Wellington by researchers from the Cawthron Institute.

Dr Barry Robertson and Leigh Stevens have just completed surveying and sampling between the high and low tide lines to establish the variety and abundance of marine life in the capital's sandy beaches.

The researchers sieved core samples of sand to find out the distribution of animals such as worms, crabs and shellfish. Wellington's beaches appeared to support a variety of marine life, says Dr Barry Robertson. The researchers will test some of the samples for traces of heavy metals.

The study is part of Greater Wellington's marine biodiversity project, says co-ordinator Paul Denton, a policy advisor with the regional council. "The study is looking into various aspects of the local marine environment to assess what impacts different activities are having. The information collected will go towards a better understanding of beach processes and the range of fauna which might be at risk. This data will help us keep decision makers better informed."

The results will be available by the end of May.

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