The Long Bay Okura Great Park Society’s Annual General Meeting with Guest Speaker, Conrad Pilditch

We invite you to the Society's Annual General Meeting:
2pm Sunday 21 August,
Main Building, Vaughan Park Retreat, 1043 Beach Road, Long Bay.
(More details can be found here)

Come and hear guest speaker, Conrad Pilditch, Biological Sciences Professor from Waikato University, talking about the value of estuaries and how they need to be protected.

Also find about the Society's involvement in the Unitary Plan hearings process: what it sought, what it opposed, the recommendation from the Hearings Panel and the decision made by the Auckland Council.

Professor Pilditch's talk will be on - Ecology of marine sediments – why soft bottoms matter!

Soft sediments, the mud and sand that comprise the seafloor represent the largest continuous habitat on the planet and harbour an incredible diversity of burrowing animals. In shallow coastal and estuarine waters these animals are responsible for regulating key processes that underpin many of the ecosystem attributes we value. For example filter-feeding by shellfish help keep the water clear and the burrowing activities of crabs regenerate essential nutrients that sustain production. Locally, and globally human activities on land are threatening the integrity of these ecosystems through increasing inputs of sediments and nutrients which alter biodiversity and how these systems work.

In this talk Professor Pilditch will provide an overview of current research that aims to understand the consequences of biodiversity loss and what it may mean for Society. Much of this research has been conducted in local estuaries including the Okura Estuary.

Conrad Pilditch is a Professor of Marine Science at the University of Waikato. He holds a MSc in Marine Science from Otago and PhD in Oceanography from Dalhousie University (Canada). His research interests focus on the ecology of marine sediments, in particular trying to understand the complex interactions between animals and their environment that drive ecosystem performance. He has worked in coastal and deep-sea habitats in New Zealand, Europe and North America and published more than 100 scientific articles describing the results of his research. More information on his research can be found here