Museum of Underwater Art (MOUA)


Reef Ecologic have been integral members of the team that are currently delivering the Museum of Underwater Art (MOUA) to the Great Barrier Reef. This innovative project aims to raise awareness and educate Reef visitors and, by extension, the worldwide community, the challenges coral reefs are facing and what we can do to support their ongoing resilience.

The Museum of Underwater Art (MOUA) comprises multiple locations across the Great Barrier Reef. So far two locations are complete or almost complete. These are the

  1. Ocean Siren on the Strand, Townsville
  2. Coral Greenhouse, John Brewer Reef

Additional sites to be developed in coming years include Palm Island and Magnetic Island.

Ocean Siren

The ‘Ocean Siren’ was modelled on a local Wulgurukaba Traditional Owner, Takoda Johnson. The piece envisions to educate and inspire conservation actions for coral reefs. The ‘Ocean Siren’ illuminates at night showing live water temperature data from Davies Reef weather station on the Great Barrier Reef. A guide to what the colors mean and its implication for the reefs is also installed along The Strand jetty.

The Coral Greenhouse

The Museum of Underwater Art at John Brewer reef is part of a bigger underwater art project spanning several regions of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. The Coral Greenhouse at was completed in December 2019. The creator, Jason deCaires Taylor, is a British artist and a pioneer in the world of underwater sculpture. We owe to him most of the submerged museums we can find in the world nowadays.

The “Coral Greenhouse” is part of the Museum of Underwater Art (MOUA) project on the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. It was the first  submerged building designed by world famous artist Jason  deCaires Taylor. The underwater art is envisioned to inspire reef  and  ocean  conservation action and  achieve positive outcomes through tourism and education. The site  may also  serve  as demonstration site  for conservation, coral restoration and  other scientific  research. The  concrete and steel structures also provide ideal substrate for coral recruits and  attract other marine life.

The coral greenhouse is 16m deep and rises up to a depth of 12m. The 72 m2  skeletal greenhouse  structure has 3 main entrance points. There are 25 sculptures Ol}.tside the greenhouse and 8 human figures, benches and other small sculptures including pots, cups, and a microscope inside the greenhouse. The figures depict people undertaking science, conservation and coral gardening. On top of the greenhouse, we can also see floating structures that move along with the currents.

The synergy of artificial and natural attractions at John Brewer Reefs makes it perfect for snorkelers, scuba and free divers. Scuba and free divers can see the sculptures up close and even swim through the greenhouse. Snorkelers can see the attraction from above especially during  low  tide  or  swim  over  the  wonderful reefs a few meters from the sculptures.

Bringing life to the Coral Greenhouse

In October 2020, the Museum of Underwater Art and Reef Ecologic was granted marine park permit G20/44358.1 allowing up to 500 coral fragments to be planted in the Coral Greenhouse. On 14 March 2021, Reef Ecologic and the Museum of Underwater Art were joined by scientists, volunteers and partners from James Cook University, CSIRO, C2O Consulting, Grumpy Turtle Creative and Pacific Marine Group in planting 131 corals on treatment locations.

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Why does the World Of Restoration and Education Inspire?

At John Brewer Reef the complexity and power of the reef is complemented by some amazing, breathtaking artwork. An enormous structure of stainless steel and cement sitting on the ocean floor. On first impressions you think to yourself, should this really be here. I mean what is it doing there?

Gardening in the Greenhouse

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