Conference Online
Ed Atkin

Ed Atkin
Director, eCoast, New Zealand

Ed Atkin is an environmental consultant and scientist focussing on coastal oceanography. Ed’s been involved with surf science since 2005 and uses his understanding of nearshore and wave breaking processes in investigations that address wave breaking quality changes. Ed works closely with the Surfbreak Protection Society in New Zealand, by providing technical advice regarding preservation of marine resources. Ed has spent many years travelling driven by surf and culture, but now mostly for work. Ed lives in Raglan, New Zealand with his young family, is volunteer New Zealand coastguard and surfs nearly every day on the left hand point breaks.

Presentation Title: Remote Sensing, Classification and Management Guidelines for Surf Breaks of National and Regional Significance
Presentation Day: Tuesday 14th March
Presentation Time: 10.55 - 11.15am

Policy 16 of the New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement (NZCPS): Surf Breaks of National Significance is a guideline for local authorities to protect 17 nationally significant surf breaks distributed across New Zealand; provides a legislative framework that identifies and calls for the protection of surf breaks of national and regional significance by "ensuring that activities in the coastal environment do not adversely affect the surf breaks” and by "avoiding adverse effects of other activities on access to, and use and enjoyment of the surf breaks”. While this is ground-breaking as the world’s first environmental policy to specifically identify surf breaks as protected spaces, it is somewhat toothless in its effectiveness because there are no clear, quantitative measures or guidelines describing the oceanographic or geomorphic characteristics of the coastal zone that contribute to the functionality of a surf break. This presentation will introduce a 3-year Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment funded research project aimed at building a knowledge base from which management guidelines for New Zealand’s nationally and regionally significant surf breaks will be developed. The research is addressing a fundamental issue that there is little information or understanding of surf breaks to enable informed decision-making by council staff, engineers and consultants about activities in coastal areas that encompass or influence the functionality of New Zealand’s surf breaks. The presentation describes how the research will fill the current information gap and how it is being accomplished by establishing a network of remote sensing monitoring stations at selected surf breaks, field data collection, numerical modeling, undertaking detailed analysis of new observations and data (including GPS surfer-tracking), incorporating existing knowledge and feedback from end users and stakeholders and using the information to develop guidelines for resource management. The data collected in this research will be made publicly available through an online portal providing the opportunity for other organizations, including universities and crown research institutes, district and regional councils, port and harbor authorities, marine resource prospectors and coastal developers to use the data for their own research, consent applications and/or planning purposes.

Shaw Mead, Director, eCoast
Karin Bryan, Associate Professor, University of Waikato
Terry Hume, Hume Consulting Ltd
Jordan Waiti, Maori Health and Development