ASSESSING ECOLOGY AND WATER QUALITY TO ENABLE EASTLAND PORT’S BIGGEST INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECT IN 100 YEARS TO GET UNDERWAY.
4Sight has assisted Eastland Port with environmental assessments and advice to support the Twin Berth project. Eastland Port, located in Gisborne is undergoing the biggest infrastructure upgrade in 100 years. Twin Berths is the most extensive part of this upgrade and it includes a new wharf, an expanded port breakwater, a new reclamation, new seawalls, extended capital dredging and maintenance dredging.
Our Marine Ecology team carried out extensive ecological fieldwork to document existing baseline conditions within and beyond the port, including an offshore disposal ground for dredged sediment. Fieldwork assessed benthic habitat types and habitat quality including contaminant levels and marine communities. Surveys involved quantitative and qualitative methods including shoreline quadrat surveys, benthic grabs and dredges, drop cameras, and ‘potting’ surveys for crayfish within port structures.
Water quality effects were assessed by reviewing an extensive databases on stormwater discharge and receiving environment quality based on monitoring carried out by 4Sight over the last seven years. This included a statistical review of the relationship between discharge contaminant concentrations and receiving environment quality. Mixing zones and dilution were also assessed.
We presented our findings to Eastland Port in a report titled, ‘Twin Berths: Assessment of Ecological and Water Quality Effects’. The report included the data collected, review of wider scientific reports, an interpretation of the ecological and water quality implications of physical modelling outputs, construction and operational phase monitoring requirements, and biosecurity matters. We also included an assessment against the NZ Coastal Policy Statement, regional water quality standards, and referred to a marine adaptation of the Environment and Assessment Guidelines NZ (EIANZ) to assist with determining the significance of ecological and water quality effects.
4Sight delivered an Ecological Impact Assessment of the Twin Berths Project on kororā/little penguin which live within sections of the seawall. This report assessed the ecological effects on kororā from a range of construction activities including the deconstructing and construction of a section rock seawall which is a potential kororā habitat. A part of this report included an outline for requirements for future monitoring of kororā and management before and during construction.