Story: Marine conservation

Underwater sediment build-up

Underwater sediment build-up

Too much sediment disrupts coastal marine life in two main ways. First it coats them with fine particles of silt, making it difficult for them to extract oxygen from the sea water. Second, it blocks the depth to which sunlight penetrates, so that seaweeds cannot photosynthesise. If sunlight is blocked for long enough, seaweeds die, and so do many other creatures that live in and around them

Using this item

Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand
Artwork by Bruce Mahalski

This item has been provided for private study purposes (such as school projects, family and local history research) and any published reproduction (print or electronic) may infringe copyright law. It is the responsibility of the user of any material to obtain clearance from the copyright holder.

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Gerard Hutching and Carl Walrond, 'Marine conservation - Pollution', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/diagram/5834/underwater-sediment-build-up (accessed 14 November 2019)

Story by Gerard Hutching and Carl Walrond, published 12 Jun 2006, updated 1 Sep 2015