Our changing environment
Our Lakes’ Health: past, present and future
Delving deep into the secrets preserved under our nation’s lakes, the Lakes380 project has captured the imagination of communities, iwi and scientists.
The project, formally known as “Our Lakes’ Health: past, present and future”, is co-led by GNS Science and the Cawthron Institute.
Scientists are taking water, surface sediment and sediment cores from around 10 per cent of Aotearoa New Zealand’s 3,800 lakes, and analysing the material contained in these samples.
Combined with local community knowledge and mātauranga Māori, the sediment cores tell a story of how our environment responded to past events – and how together we can restore and protect the lakes for generations to come.
“Each sediment core delivers hundreds, even thousands of years of material that’s settled at the bottom of lakes,”
“When the cores are split and analysed, we can see changes to the environment caused by volcanic eruptions, human habitation and changing land use.”
The Endeavour-funded project is now wrapping up fieldwork and moving into an analysis phase.
We thought the time was right to share some of the spectacular work Lakes380 has done, showcasing Aotearoa’s beautiful and diverse lakes:
- David Schmale from Waikato University took these wonderful videos during a sampling trip to the Chatham Islands in April 2021.
- A May 2021 trip to the upper South Island involved a knowledge sharing morning with Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō
- A digital story telling portal focused on the Wairarapa moana
- Visit the Lakes380 website for a searchable database of the lakes we’ve sampled
The Lakes380 research programme is funded by an Endeavour grant from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. Click here for a full list of our partners.
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