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Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts

“Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.
We at CEAC also welcome and support Government with this set of proposals but recommend more focus on road transport pollution emissions especially from the ‘leaching of road runoff pollution’ quote; “Road dust; an overlooked pollutant.” .
During a review of the Government policy “Our marine environment 2019”
CEAC uses bullet points to highlight those four key issue proposals from I to 4.
At CEAC we regard that ‘land transport’ activities is a large cause of pollution to our ‘natural and built’ environment and coastal waters, and was not adequately considered during the planning of this coastal proposal, even in the key issue 1/ under “OUR ACTIVITIES ON LAND ARE POLLUTING OUR MARINE ENVIRONMENT”.
Hence our amendments were called for here as we are advised by The Ministry of Transport studies into “road vehicle pollution runoff” that this is a significant environmental pollution issue to consider, with our amendments to be added below in red.
“Our marine environment 2019”
Key issues.
1/ “OUR ACTIVITIES ON LAND ARE POLLUTING OUR MARINE ENVIRONMENT”
2/ “OUR ACTIVITIES AT SEA ARE AFFECTING THE MARINE ENVIRONMENT
3/ CLIMATE CHANGE IS AFFECTING MARINE ECOSYSTEMS, TAONGA SPECIES, AND US
4/ ISSUES ARE NOT ISOLATED, BUT BUILD ON EACH OTHER AND CAUSE MORE HARM

CEAC amendments; to key policy.
1/ OUR ACTIVITIES ON LAND ARE POLLUTING OUR MARINE ENVIRONMENT
3/ CLIMATE CHANGE IS AFFECTING MARINE ECOSYSTEMS, TAONGA SPECIES, AND US

1/
OUR ACTIVITIES ON LAND ARE POLLUTING OUR MARINE ENVIRONMENT
“Our activities on land, especially agriculture and forestry, and growing cities, increase the amount of sediment, nutrients, chemicals, and plastics that enter our coasts and oceans.”

This issue must include; https://ec.europa.eu/environment/integration/research/newsalert/pdf/277na4_en.pdf
According to the European Commission Environmental Integration Research the road dust (tyre dust) evidence is confirmed under the heading “Road dust; an overlooked pollutant.” Unsustainable high use of 90% truck freight carried must be lowered and rail encouraged to balance land transport use to lower these Greenhouse gas emissions for a more sustainable land transport in future. Micro-plastics from truck tyre dust would also be reduced while restoring water quality and lowering climate change.

3/ CLIMATE CHANGE IS AFFECTING MARINE ECOSYSTEMS, TAONGA SPECIES, AND US
Global concentrations of atmospheric greenhouse gas are increasing because of activities like burning fossil fuels for heat, transport, and electricity generation.
• On ‘land transport’ better consideration must be made to use rail as ‘common sense’ policy to combat land transport emissions/pollution.
This is causing unprecedented change in our oceans. The rate of sea-level rise has increased: the average rate in the past 60 years (2.44 millimetres per year) was more than double the rate of the previous 60 years (1.22 millimetres per year).

A key issue ‘road pollution runoff’ from transport of truck freight activities to port cities, causing an increase in the amount of sediment, nutrients, chemicals, and micro-plastics that enter our coasts and oceans”
https://ec.europa.eu/environment/integration/research/newsalert/pdf/277na4_en.pdf

While many scientific facts are emerging around our future regarding ‘micro-plastics’ are now entering our environment, being found in both artic regions of snow and ice causing alarming increases in the ice/snow melt that are responsible for increasing ‘Climate Change’
https://www.stuff.co.nz/science/115098866/exceptionally-rare-warming-above-antarctica-may-be-affecting-nzs-weather

https://ec.europa.eu/environment/integration/research/newsalert/pdf/277na4_en.pdf
According to the European Commission Environmental Integration Research the road dust (tyre dust) evidence is confirmed under the heading “Road dust; an overlooked pollutant.”

Plastic/micro- plastics are found throughout the ocean including inside shellfish, fish, and birds. Seabirds and other animals that eat plastic can get sick or die. Citizen science data collected at 44 sites showed more than 60 percent of beach litter was plastic. Pollution affects our ability to harvest kaimoana, swim, and fish in our favourite local places.

Original wording of “Our marine environment 2019”

Page six of MfE Our marine environment 2019

OUR ACTIVITIES ON LAND ARE POLLUTING OUR MARINE ENVIRONMENT

Our activities on land, especially agriculture and forestry, and growing cities, increase the amount of sediment, nutrients, chemicals, and plastics that enter our coasts and oceans.

Inter-tidal sedimentation rates have generally increased and become highly variable since European settlement. In estuaries and harbours across the Waikato region, historical sediment accumulation rates were less than 0.5 millimetres per year.

After European settlement, rates became unstable, reaching almost 200 times historical rates. Thick deposits of sediment can smother animals and degrade habitats.

Coastal water quality is variable but generally improving nationally although very site dependent. Some pollutants, like pharmaceuticals and cleaning products, end up in the marine environment and the impacts of this are not well understood.

Plastic is found throughout the ocean including inside shellfish, fish, and birds. Seabirds and other animals that eat plastic can get sick or die. Citizen science data collected at 44 sites showed more than 60 percent of beach litter was plastic. Pollution affects our ability to harvest kaimoana, swim, and fish in our favourite local places.

OUR ACTIVITIES AT SEA ARE AFFECTING THE MARINE ENVIRONMENT

Our activities on coasts and in oceans like fishing, aquaculture, shipping, and coastal development, provide value to our economy and support growth.

Since 2009, the total commercial catch has remained stable at less than 450,000 tonnes per year. In 2018, 84 percent of routinely assessed stocks were considered to be fished within safe limits, an improvement from 81 percent in 2009.

Of the 16 percent that were considered overfished, 9 stocks were collapsed. Fishing has long-term and wide-ranging effects on species and habitats. The accidental capture (bycatch) of seabirds and marine mammals is decreasing but remains a significant pressure on some populations.

Seabird deaths in the 2016/17 fishing year were estimated at 4,186. Seabed trawling and dredging have decreased in the last 20 years.

About 24 percent of the fishable area has been trawled since 1990. Shallow areas are trawled more extensively than deeper areas, with varying impacts depending on fishing intensity, gear type, and vulnerability of habitat.

As an island nation, 99.5 percent of our imports and exports move by sea, and shipping traffic and vessel size has increased. Boat traffic is associated with the spread of non-native species and pollution and requires further construction of wharves and coastal infrastructure.

Most of our activities in the marine environment tend to increase in intensity towards the coast and, on top of the pressure from coastal development, this results in coastal environments being most impacted. Coastal waters tend to hold the greatest diversity of species.

CLIMATE CHANGE IS AFFECTING MARINE ECOSYSTEMS, TAONGA SPECIES, AND US

Global concentrations of atmospheric greenhouse gas are increasing because of activities like burning fossil fuels for heat, transport, and electricity generation.

This is causing unprecedented change in our oceans. The rate of sea-level rise has increased: the average rate in the past 60 years (2.44 millimetres per year) was more than double the rate of the previous 60 years (1.22 millimetres per year).

Recent data suggests an even faster rate of sea level rise. Extreme wave events may be becoming more frequent. Roads, bridges, coastal communities, and habitats are at risk from flooding and sea-level rise. Our seas are warming.

Satellite data recorded an average increase of 0.2° Celsius per decade since 1981. Years with an average temperature above the long-term average are more frequent.

An unprecedented marine heatwave occurred in the Tasman Sea and near the Chatham Islands from November 2017 to February 2018 during our hottest summer on record.

Warmer seas affect the growth of even the smallest things in the ocean like plankton which can impact the whole food web.

Some temperature-related changes in individual species and fish communities have been observed and tohu (environmental indicators that identify trends in the natural world) have changed.

Long-term measurements off the Otago coast show an increase of 7.1 percent in ocean acidity in the past 20 years.

Oceans will continue to become more acidic as more carbon dioxide is absorbed. Shellfish, including oysters, pāua and mussels, are vulnerable to increasing ocean acidity and this poses a risk for the shellfish-farming industry.

ISSUES ARE NOT ISOLATED, BUT BUILD ON EACH OTHER AND CAUSE MORE HARM

The pressures associated with biodiversity loss, activities on land, our activities at sea, and climate change have many effects on coasts and oceans.

These can interact and lead to cumulative effects.

This is one of the most urgent problems we face in our oceans.

Given the complexity of the marine environment and lack of long-term data, the nature of cumulative effects is difficult to predict.

This report looks at the individual and cumulative pressures on kuku (green-lipped mussel).

This is illustrative only and helps to build a picture of what the messages in this report mean within the context of a single species.

The ability to report on the impacts of changes in the marine environment on species and habitats is often limited by a lack of baseline data, understanding of tipping points, and connections between domains.

Working together across mātauranga Māori and other science disciplines is improving our holistic place-based knowledge that is crucial in understanding cumulative effects.

For Māori the whenua and moana are inextricably linked and there is a complement or balance for everything on land in the oceans.

End of Page six of MfE Our marine environment 2019
• On ‘land transport’ better consideration must be made to use rail as ‘common sense’ policy to combat land transport emissions/pollution.
End.

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