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Lake buoys useful to community and scientists

MEDIA RELEASE

Lake buoys useful to community and scientists

Wednesday 24 December 2008

Environment Bay of Plenty has a new environmental weapon in the battle against blue-green algal (cyanobacterial) blooms in Lake Rotorua – one that will also supply important information to the community and have scientific benefits.

A special lake buoy has been deployed, supported by both the regional council and the University of Waikato. It provides useful information for students and staff studying the health of the lake

The buoy is also helpful for recreational users heading out for a day on the water as it supplies weather information, which is then made publicly available on Environment Bay of Plenty’s website, www.envbop.govt.nz.

Environment Bay of Plenty’s Data Services Manager Glenn Ellery said the buoy was gathering information about the temperature of the lake at different depths, and levels of algae and dissolved oxygen.

“Because Rotorua is a relatively shallow productive lake, during warm conditions the water can ‘deoxygenate’ in a matter of days - it’s these conditions that can lead to algal blooms,” Mr Ellery said.

“Because the buoy is taking regular readings about the condition of the lake, including weather information, it provides us with significant information that we can use in our research to help improve the lake’s water quality.”

A buoy has also been installed in Lake Rotoiti as part of the monitoring programme to examine the effects of the Ohau Channel Diversion Wall. Another buoy is being prepared for deployment in Lake Tarawera.

Information that the buoys are collecting is available on Environment Bay of Plenty’s website _by clicking on the live monitoring link. The website’s live monitoring area also provides real-time information about air, rainfall, river levels and more.

For further media information please contact Bronwyn Campbell Community Relations Manager on 0800 ENV BOP (368 267) or 021 287 9380.


ENDS

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