RSNZ-Sponsored session on Mātauranga Māori shaping freshwater futures

Māori have distinct cultural knowledge, values, and perspectives that establish their identity, responsibilities, and rights to manage and use aquatic resources. There is an enormous potential for the use of mātauranga Māori to enhance our understanding of aquatic ecosystems, underpin culturally appropriate restoration approaches, and provide a more holistic and integrated perspective for research, monitoring, planning, and policy and resource development. The Royal Society of New Zealand are pleased to sponsor this session which shares the stories brought together in a special issue of the New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research focused on mātauranga Māori and how it is informing current and future research and decision-making in aquatic environments of Aotearoa.

Chairperson: Joanne Clapcott ( Joanne.Clapcott@cawthron.org.nz )

SETAC-Sponsored session on ANZECC water quality guidelines

This special session is sponsored by the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry Australasia (SETAC-Au) and will focus on the updated ANZECC guidelines which are due for release in 2018. The ANZECC water quality guidelines cover freshwater, estuarine and marine water and sediment quality, for physical and chemical stressors (e.g., clarity, conductivity), sedimentation and toxicants. The session will cover the process of developing the guidelines, the guideline website, and key guidelines that are expected to be of most interest to the NZFSS community. A keynote presentation in this session will be delivered by Rick van Dam who is the Director of the Environmental Research Institute of the Supervising Scientist (ERISS), Australia.

Chairperson: Jenni Gadd ( Jennifer.gadd@niwa.co.nz )

Constructed wetlands for treatment of diffuse pollution from intensive agricultural landscapes in New Zealand: What have we learnt and where are we going?

Constructed treatment wetlands (CTWs) are being used increasingly throughout New Zealand as mitigation tools to improve the water quality of streams, lakes and rivers within intensive agricultural catchments. Early CTWs primarily targeted nitrate and were created to treat effluent from tile drains, implementing subsurface filtration wetland design principles. Other CTWs were focused on capturing sediment and associated phosphorus, loosely following free surface flow wetland design concepts. Research and monitoring of the efficacy of agricultural CTWs in New Zealand has revealed both positive and negative outcomes. To instil confidence in CTWs as valuable mitigation tools, and facilitate continued implementation throughout the agricultural sector, it is imperative we look back at what we have learnt. As water quality scientists providing technical CTW advice, our collective inertia moving forward is best fuelled by our shared knowledge and experiences.

Chairperson: Rebecca Eivers ( rebecca@streamlined.co.nz )

Revisiting ‘Swimmability’: The Freshwater Microbiological Sciences Review Project

In 1998-2000 a freshwater microbial survey was carried out at river and lake sites across New Zealand that formed the basis of a quantitative microbial risk assessment (QMRA) to determine the relationship between microbial indicators and pathogens.  The research findings underpinned the current freshwater component of the national recreational water quality guidelines and also informed the development of the E. coli human health for recreation attribute in the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management 2014.  Nearly 20 years on, our land use and land management practices have changed as may potentially the carriage of pathogens.  We also have more knowledge about faecal sources, greater awareness of naturalised sources of faecal indicator bacteria, and improved laboratory methods for detection and characterisation of pathogens.  In this special session, we outline a proposed updated microbial survey and revised QMAR to underpin a review of our 2003 national recreational water quality guidelines.

Co-chairs: Elaine Moriarty ( Elaine.Moriarty@esr.cri.nz ), Juliet Milne ( Juliet.Milne@niwa.co.nz )

Resistance, Resilience, and Restoration

Resistance and resilience are terms used to describe the capacity of an ecosystem to withstand and recover from a perturbation. Thus, community resistance and resilience are often desired goals and are commonly associated with healthy communities (positive resistance and resilience). However, degraded ecosystems can also be resistant and resilient to perturbations (negative resistance and resilience) making them resistant to restoration. In this session, we invite approaches and ideas incorporating biotic mechanisms and aspects of resistance and resilience in restoration. One talk slot will be set aside for group discussion at the end of the session.

Chairperson: Elizabeth Graham  ( elizabeth.graham@niwa.co.nz )

Art for freshwater’s sake – the art of questioning

If our waterways are akin to the nation’s lifeblood, then art signifies the pulse of our national heartbeat. Artists play a critical role as change-makers who, in bringing attention to the demise of waterways, spark opportunities for political discourse and collective action. The conference theme is timely and reflexive: what does the condition of our rivers and lakes say about us? The true value of art for New Zealand’s freshwater sciences goes well beyond entertainment or public outreach. ‘Art for freshwater’s sake’ involves the art of questioning that prompts, provokes and pushes us to think, feel and behave as if our future depends on it.

Co-chairs: Charlotte Šunde ( charlotte.sunde@cawthron.org.nz ) Bruce Foster ( bruce@airplane.co.nz )

Lake snow: past and future perspectives on an emerging nuisance slime
Lake snow in New Zealand is a globally unprecedented phenomenon. Although lake snow has been occasionally reported overseas, it has not previously been attributable to a single species, nor occupied numerous lakes over a wide area. From apparent isolation in Lake Wanaka in the mid-2000s, the causative organism Lindavia intermedia has spread far and wide through clean lakes (and some not-so-clean) in the South and North Islands of New Zealand, with lake snow appearing in many. We will describe how the causative species was identified; reconstructions of its colonisation of New Zealand lakes from sediment cores, molecular genetics, and historical samples; the response from authorities; new ways of analysing the polysaccharides that make up the slime; and “where to from here”.

Chairperson: Marc Shallenberg ( marc.schallenberg@otago.ac.nz )

Citizen science and water monitoring in NZ: where it’s come from, where it’s going

Resources and programmes for volunteer water monitoring in NZ have been around since the late 1990s. But in the last few years, public interest in water monitoring has increased rapidly at the same time that new technologies have made it easier for volunteers to collect and share their data. We will profile recent and future developments in resourcing and co-ordinating citizen science water monitoring across NZ, hear about new applications, discuss how we are addressing current challenges, hear different perspectives on the values of volunteer monitoring and explore opportunities to expand monitoring from rivers to lakes and estuaries.

Chairperson: Richard Storey ( Richard.Storey@niwa.co.nz )

Joining up land use and freshwater – tools for scientists and managers from the Our Land and Water National Science Challenge

Land and water management in New Zealand must meet multiple objectives: preventing ecological degradation, protecting cultural and social values, and ensuring a viable primary sector. Achieving these objectives requires a transformation in our perspective of land-water systems, a diverse set of tools for managers, and innovative science to underpin those tools. The overarching aims of the Our Land and Water Challenge are to deliver the perspective, tools and science. In this session, we report on research in all three areas: new perspectives that link land use to freshwater, tools for data analysis and mapping, and integrated land-water science.

Chairperson: Scott Larned ( scott.larned@niwa.co.nz )

Freshwater Policy Update from Ministry for the Environment

As 2019 approaches, the state of our freshwater continues to be a key priority for science and policy across New Zealand. The Ministry for the Environment works with other government departments and stakeholders on the policy response for tackling the many interrelated problems that put pressure on our waterways. This Special Session will cover the key aspects of the current policy response, highlighting the Ministry’s recent thinking and work programme. There will also be time for reflections on the future direction freshwater policy, specifically focussing on the interaction of policy with science. The format will be five short, connected presentations with time for Q&A at the end.

Chairperson: James King ( James.King@mfe.govt.nz )

NZ Fish Passage Guidelines and Fish Passage Assessment Tool

This workshop will introduce participants to the 1) NZ Fish Passage Guidelines and the new 2) NZ Fish Passage Assessment Tool. The NZ Fish Passage Guidelines were launched in April 2018 and set out recommended practice for the design of culverts, fords, weirs, flood and tide gates to provide for fish passage. We expect the guidelines to set the foundation for the improvement of fish passage management in New Zealand and we consider it crucial that as many NZFSS members as possible are familiar with New Zealand’s first fish passage guidelines. The NZ Fish Passage Assessment tool implements a new standardised protocol for identifying instream structures and assessing the likely impact on fish movements in the form of a freely available mobile app. The app can be used to collect information including the location of the structure, photos of the structure, and information about the type of structure and its characteristics. That information is automatically uploaded to a national database and can be viewed and downloaded from the Fish Passage Assessment Tool website.

Chairperson: Eleanor Gee ( Eleanor.Gee@niwa.co.nz )

Collaborative decision-making: theory and application of Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis for managing New Zealand’s fresh waters

In this workshop, we introduce a well-known participatory decision support framework based on multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) that can be used to support community-inclusive decision-making in freshwater management. The NPS-FM mandates Regional Councils to account for community values in managing freshwaters. However, it gives no guidance on how this complex process should be undertaken. While some councils have already undergone consultation processes, others are currently considering options. Freshwater collaborative processes require the input of scientists, managers, iwi, locals and industry stakeholders. Many of the NZFSS members will have been involved in such processes and it will be interesting to critically compare the MCDA process with other approaches. Furthermore, many NZFSS members are likely to be involved in such processes in the future and this workshop will give them a deeper understanding of how MCDA operates including its strengths and weaknesses.

Co-chairs: Simone Langhans ( simone.langhans@otago.ac.nz )

Characterising lake communities: challenges and solutions

Lakes make up 1% of the world surface area, yet are estimated to contain 10% of its biodiversity. In New Zealand knowledge on contemporary and historic lake biodiversity is limited, and data on species interactions and food-webs is constrained to a few systems. This session will explore new methods for characterising lake communities (the future), and highlight how these techniques can be used to reconstruct past communities (learning from the past to enhance our lakes future). It will bring together emerging and established researchers, and scientists and stakeholders. It will embrace a diverse range of topics from microscopic organisms (picocyanobacteria/diatoms), to entire trophic interactions (food-webs) and will include studies that have focused on single lakes and those which are applying new techniques at regional or national scales.

Chairperson: Susie Wood ( Susie.Wood@cawthron.org.nz )

Native Freshwater Mussels as Freshwater Sentinels
Individual freshwater mussels can live more than 50 years making them probably the oldest invertebrate inhabitants of our waterways. Successful completion of their life cycle depends on the presence of fish hosts for their parasitic larvae, and excellent water and sediment quality for their juveniles. Mussel presence/absence, and population health can therefore reveal much about past and present river or lake health and connectivity. Freshwater mussels’ status as culturally important taonga species and their influence on biodiversity means they can be characterised as Cultural Keystone Species. Considering the whakataukī "Kia whakatōmuri te haere whakamua” (My past is my present is my future, I walk backwards into the future with my eyes fixed on my past) we will examine how understanding the past impact of human activities on our waterways through freshwater mussels can improve future freshwater management.
Chairperson: Sue Clearwater ( s.clearwater@niwa.co.nz )

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