Recovery, Restoration and Resilience
Reef Ecologic has a long history in reef restoration and 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 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
Introduction to Reef Recovery and Restoration
Reef Ecologic regularly conducts Introduction to Reef Recovery and Restoration training as part of the Reef Recovery Project at Magnetic Island. This one day program consists of presentations
- Introduction to coral reefs
- Reef restoration
- Reef recovery at Magnetic Island
- Field trip to participate in reef recovery
- Group case study activity
To conclude activities participants undertake a short online quiz and are presented with a certificate of completion. This program provides information to support decision making processes facing various stakeholders in coral reef environments.
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’
In December 2017, Reef Ecologic were instrumental in supporting the Reef Restoration Foundation in the establishment of the first coral nurseries on the Great Barrier Reef at Fitzroy Island, Cairns In collaboration with a team of volunteers, local businesses, organisations and researchers established the first coral nursery on the Great Barrier Reef.Read More
Reef Ecologic, together with the Coral Restoration Foundation, NOAA and Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary are hosting this youth leaders workshop, Reef Restoration and Its Relevance to the Next Generation, to discuss and share ideas on reef restoration and solutions to improve the health of the world’s reefs and oceans.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 staff were part of an expert panel of scientists, industry and government that developed and implemented the Australian Fish Names Standards for over 4,000 species of fish. This innovative project assists management, science and the public and stopped fish substitution and increased consumer confidences in purchasing and eating seafood.Read More