Storm of 17th April Floods Popular Harbourside Reserve

Storm 1

The high tide and storm surge on the tail of cyclone Ita created a bit of havoc around the Whangateau Harbour. With sea-level set to rise at an accelerating rate, this storm should be a warning about the wisdom (or lack of) of building new housing close to sea-level along the Point Wells harbour shore, as outlined in a recent posting on this site.

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A New Start for the Sediment Traps at Sandspit and Whangateau

Mud near a Whangateau sediment trap

Mud near a Whangateau sediment trap

A full year of results from the sediment traps at Whangateau and in the footprint of the proposed marina at Sandspit indicated a likely filling rate for the marina of 329.3mm in one year. This is far in excess of the estimate of only 30mm from the marina proposers. There was no experimental verification or ground truthing of that theoretical estimate, despite the SYCMS having ample time to do so.

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What Happens When You Dig a Big Hole in an Estuary

Sediment Plume in Omaha Bay

Sediment Plume in Omaha Bay

Since the forest was cleared by the pioneers, huge amounts of sediment and topsoil have washed into our estuaries and into coastal waters.  This causes all sorts of environmental problems, with accumulating silt in estuaries promoting rapid increase in mangrove spread, and silt accumulating on rocky reefs offshore damaging marine life sensitive to silt clogging respiratory and feeding mechanisms.
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Krill Invasion in Whangateau Harbour

Krill Invasion

Krill Invasion

Millions of krill, tiny crustaceans important in the marine food chain, have appeared washed up along the sandy harbour shore north of the Omaha boat ramp and jetty.
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Storm Passes over Whangateau Harbour

Storm Passes over Whangateau Harbour

Storm Passes over Whangateau Harbour


A ferocious storm on Sunday 16th June suddenly departed to the East leaving behind trees and power lines down.

At around 5pm the storm suddenly gave way to clear skies with its edge lit up by the setting sun. Only moments before the northerly wind was gusting to nearly 100k with torrential rain falling at the rate of 180mm / hr. A total of 24mm fell in the afternoon. The sun had been dimmed to 4W / m2 but quickly rose in the last moments of the day to 50W / m2

Orca Make Lunchtime Raid on Rays of Whangateau

Three orca share an eagleray before passing southward under the causeway bridge.

Three orca share an eagleray before passing southward under the causeway bridge.

Visitors to Omaha yesterday were treated to a rare and spectacular sight of a pod of orca feeding on rays in Whangateau Harbour.  About 60 onlookers watched in awe from the Omaha causeway  bridge as six orca hunted rays in the shallows, ripping one apart before their eyes before cruising under the bridge and continuing their hunt in very shallow water south of the causeway. [Read more…]