May 2020
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Kia ora,

As we are now in level 3, it is now possible to head to your local shore - just remember to stay local and keep your distance from others. Mm2 can be a great way to get everyone in your bubble out and about. It can even be used as a teaching exercise! In this newsletter we will be reviewing how to complete a Mm2 survey and what the difference are between the rocky and sandy shores.

Happy exploring!

Rocky vs Soft - What's the difference?

We loosely group our shorelines into two categories - rocky shores and soft shores. On rocky shores you will be able to find many marine plants and animals just by looking at the surface or by looking under rocks. Soft shores - such as surf beaches - are pretty barren. Nothing really wants to live where conditions are like a washing machine! However, protected bays and estuaries are full with life - you won't often be able to see it at first though! That's because most animals on soft shores are found below the surface.

Exploring the Rocky Shore

How to do a Rocky Shore Marine Metre Squared Survey
Although you aren't necessarily digging around in the substrate on the rocky shore, that doesn't mean you can't still look in-between and under rocks. In fact, you will probably find many creatures in these areas as they provide more protection from the wind, waves, sun and of course predators. Watch this short video to learn how to do a Mm2 survey on the rocky shore! Remember - there are also instructions on how to do your survey on our Mm2 data sheets. You'll need to take them with you to record all your findings!

To complete a rocky shore Mm2 survey you'll need:

Exploring the Soft Shore

How to do a Sandy Shore Metre Squared Survey
Doing a survey on a sandy/muddy shore is a little different to that on a rocky shore as you need to not only look on surface but also below it! This is because most life found in estuarine environments are found amongst the sand and the mud. But before you get digging, make sure you have a look for evidence of what may be below the surface. Animals will leave feeding marks, burrow holes, trails and casts - different animals will leave different evidence. To help you figure who has left what, use our sandy/muddy shore guide. To learn how to do a soft shore survey by watching this video or use this step-by-step guide from Environment Southland.

To complete a soft shore survey you'll need:
  • a quadrat (how to make a quadrat was covered in our last newsletter but instructions can also be found under 'Community Stories')
  • guides
  • a data sheet (which also has instructions on how to do a soft shore survey)
  • a 10cm diameter core (this can be a large fruit tin or some pipe or a plastic container)
  • a bucket
  • a garden trowel/small shovel
  • a sieve
  • a ruler (not necessary but needed if you want to measure how healthy the soft shore environment is)

Caring for the Seashore

Make sure you are looking after yourselves and our beautiful marine environment by following these simple steps: 

* Always leave the shore as you found it - replace any rocks, fill in any holes 
* Don't turn over any rocks larger than the size of your head (to look after your fingers and toes!)
* Watch where you step (for your own safety and to minimise the disturbance of wildlife)
* If you are going to pick something up, make sure your hands are cold and wet. Keep your hands low to the ground or maybe take a container to have a closer look at something
* Check the weather conditions and tides so you don't get caught by the incoming tide
* Take only pictures and leave only footprints 

Luckily ALL this information is out the back of shore guides and can also be found as a poster

Website Update: Marine Pests

We have a new section on our website all about MARINE PESTS! You can find it here under the Resources tab

Keep up to date with us

Don't forget to follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram at @marinemetre2. On social media we post relevant articles and activities as well as share what our Mm2 community has been up to. So we want to hear from you! Whether it is finding something weird and wonderful or simply just a great day out exploring - get in touch with us so we can post it on social media or under 'Community Stories' on our website.

Up Next....


It's all about tides! We will be sharing some activities that can be used to help understand the tidal cycle and why it is important to account for this when doing Mm2.

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