Can we save our Big Blue Backyard?

Support critical research that will help save the Hauraki Gulf.

The threat

The Hauraki Gulf is too beautiful for its own good.

The Hauraki Gulf is an incredibly rich habitat. The abundant phytoplankton that give the Gulf its green colour are the beginning of the food chain, attracting everything from mussels, manta rays and flying fish to bottle nose dolphins, Bryde’s whales and seabirds.

But the shores surrounding the Gulf are also home to roughly a third of New Zealand’s human population, which means the Gulf is also adversely affected by industry, farming, forestry, land clearing, fishing and plastic waste. And the harrowing effects of climate change are seen throughout the marine environment.

The Hauraki Gulf has become unbalanced, and now supports less than half the sea life it did in 1925. We need a deeper understanding of the Gulf.

And we need it immediately.

The plan

Research can save the Gulf.

We simply don’t know enough about the Hauraki Gulf to deal effectively with its challenges. So we’re undertaking a range of research programmes to arm ourselves with knowledge to better help it.

One of the most ambitious, is the Pulse of the Gulf. It’s a massive undertaking and will involve some of the University of Auckland’s brightest minds, and many of New Zealand’s as well. Hopefully, it may also involve you.

We’ll be surveying the Gulf with visual imaging technology and satellites. We’ll be listening to its marine life, measuring temperatures, monitoring feeding groups, mining data using artificial intelligence, and modelling the ocean and its inhabitants. The result will be an in-depth understanding of one of the world’s most beautiful marine parks and the tools needed to keep it that way.

Thank you for your support.

For more information, contact:

Kate Thompson, Development Manager, Science