Lagoon closed to the sea

The Waituna lagoon has closed to the sea for the first time in more than a year.

Environment Southland director of operations and environmental information Warren Tuckey said the lagoon closed naturally, after being opened in July last year.

Having the lagoon closed over summer was good news for ruppia, a species of sea grass used to indicate the ecological health of the lagoon, as it requires fresh water to grow.

However if water levels in the lagoon went over two metres for a period of time it would be reopened.

The lagoon made headlines after it was found in 2011 that its health had reached critical levels and was in danger of becoming an algal soup.

It has been described as one of the best remaining examples of a natural coastal lagoon in New Zealand.

A multi-agency response has been enforced over the past few years to work towards improving and maintaining water quality in the catchment.

The Southland Times