Recovery, Restoration and Resilience
Reef Ecologic has a long history in reef restoration, training and adaptive management.
Reef Ecologic has recently developed best practice guidelines for Developing Reef Restoration Projects in the Great Barrier Reef for the Great Barrier Reef Foundation and are currently co-leading a National Environmental Science Programme investigation, ‘Best practice coral restoration for the Great Barrier Reef’.
CLICK HERE to listen to the ABC Interview with Dr Adam Smith and Lisa Bostrom-Einarrson discussing the Reef, research, climate change, projects and mentioned the upcoming GBR Symposium.
Reef Ecologic is coordinating a hands-on reef restoration masterclass in Thailand in July 2019. For more details click HERE
Reef Ecologic is partnering with James Cook University scientists seeking the best ideas from around the world to find ways to help repair the Great Barrier Reef (GBR). As coral cover in the Great Barrier Reef continues to degrade, pressure is growing for direct interventions to assist the recovery of corals at significant sites. A range of coral restoration and assisted recovery techniques have been trialed overseas, however there has not been an evaluation of what will work best in GBR conditions. The first step of the project is a global review of what has worked elsewhere. Dr Ian McLeod from JCU’s Tropical Water & Aquatic Ecosystem Research Hub and Dr Adam Smith from Reef Ecologic are co-leading the project. Read the full JCU media release HERE
The Great Barrier Reef’s First Mineral Accretion Reef Restoration Project
Our team has partnered with Quicksilver Connections, one of Queensland largest tourism organisations, to implement the first trial of mineral accretion technology to support reef recovery on the Great Barrier Reef. A key dive site adjacent to Quicksilver’s large tourist pontoon has provided an opportunity to develop restoration approaches for use at reefs that have suffered the combined effects of coral bleaching, cyclone damage and crown-of-thorns starfish infestations. As part of an innovative reef recovery research program, we installed steel mesh frames energised with electrical current. This innovative approach for the GBR is designed to accelerate substrate stabilisation and growth rates of coral fragments attached to the frames. We are trialing a range of variations to this method to assess its feasibility and ascertain conditions for success. The results of this restoration R&D project will provide critical information for establishing best practice restoration methods in the Great Barrier Reef and beyond.
Restoring reefs for sustainable tourism (Thailand)
Koh Tao is a small island in the Gulf of Thailand under immense pressure from marine based tourism activities, especially snorkelling and scuba diving. The island’s reefs were severely degraded by coral bleaching in 2010. Our team collaborated with local businesses and the community to establish new coral reef sites using context-appropriate restoration methods and technologies. The new snorkel and dive sites were created from corals grown in a coral nursery. Advanced coral fragments were outplanted onto degraded reef areas and specially-installed structures to enhance diversity and support recovery of species affected by coral bleaching. This ongoing project has provided the thriving dive tourism industry with new sites for dive training, reducing pressure on natural reefs. This programs has enabled community members, local government and other key stakeholders to participant in active reef restoration programs, leading to stronger stewardship by local communities and businesses. Reef Ecologic continues to work in partnership with Crystal Dive and Eco Koh Tao to support efforts in sustainable reef restoration to build Koh Tao’s social, economic and ecological resilience.
Reef restoration to support tourism industry recovery in the Whitsunday Islands
As part of the Cyclone Debbie Tourism Recovery Fund our team are partnering with Tourism Whitsundays and the Whitsunday Regional Council to implement the first significant coral gardening exercise in the Whitsundays region. This program has been designed through extensive community and stakeholder consultation, enabling us to identify priority locations for restoring ecosystem services critical to the local community and tourism industry. Under this project, our team will be working with stakeholders to establish the coral nurseries to provide coral fragments that will be outplanted to accelerate recovery of key tourism sites. A key element of this project involves working closely with tourism operators to develop and test the potential for tourists to participate in reef restoration activities, laying the foundations for a new “edu-tourism” opportunity in the Great Barrier Reef. Read more about the project HERE
Whether developing guidelines, policy, project plans or experimental designs to support reef restoration projects, or building capacity to enable effective implementation, Reef Ecologic’s expertise enables our team to design, implement and evaluate professional ecological recovery strategies that assist in restoring the delivery of vital ecosystem goods and services.
Key areas of expertise:
- Reef restoration training and guidance
- Reef restoration project implementation
- Monitoring and evaluation
- Reef Recovery at Magnetic Island
- Author of UNEP ‘Guide to Assessing Reef Resilience for Decision Support’
- Author of GBR Foundations ‘Guidance for Developing Reef Restoration Projects in the Great Barrier Reef’
The project aims to collaborate with existing citizen science organisations utilising complementary reef monitoring projects (Eye on the Reef, Reef Check, Coral Watch) to expand our knowledge and share information regarding the health of the reef in the Townsville region including Magnetic and Palm Islands.Read More
Magnetic Island Reef Restoration workshop will be another exciting opportunity to learn about critical actions to improve the health and resilience of reefs at local scales. Reef Ecologic have extensive experience in the delivery of informative, high quality capacity building workshops in science, management and reef restoration.Read More
Reef Ecologic have extensive experience in the delivery of informative, high quality capacity building workshops in science, management and reef restoration. The team has delivered over delivered over 25 reef restoration and recovery training programs, multiple youth leaders workshops and multiple international management and leadership programs as Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Australia Awards.Read More
Reef Ecologic were proud to share a wonderful opportunity with youth from Florida to be a part of an international coral reef restoration and interventions symposium in December, 2018. This was a fantastic opportunity to engage a select few of the next generation to discuss restoration options for the coral reefs and how they may become active participants in future restoration initiatives.Read More