Whitsundays Reef Resilience Project

Research

Welcome to the Whitsundays Reef Resilience Project

This project is designed to support and develop the active reef restoration community in the Whitsundays region centred around Reef Ecologic’s active project at Blue Pearl and Manta Ray Bay. This page is currently a work in progress and will be updated regularly. Please check back as the project evolves. For further information or to inquire how to get involved please contact nathan.cook@reefecologic.org.

 

 

Welcome to the Whitsundays Reef Resilience Project

This page is specifically designed for people who have signed up to participate in  Reef Ecologic’s restoration project in the Whitsundays.

Before you get started I highly recommend, watching the video to the left and either now, or at regular intervals. heading to our website and familiarising yourself with the history of the project.  Background information and associated videos and reports can be viewed or downloaded from our website

 

 

Over the last 2-3 years Reef Ecologic have been undertaking a reef restoration research project in the Whitsundays region. Restoration activities have been undertaken in Blue Pearl and Manta Ray Bay. During this time we have set up coral nurseries and used these to replenish degraded reef areas of these two bays, outplanting over 1300 coral colonies in both locations.

 

Conducting Restoration Monitoring

Initial monitoring trips will likely revolve around familiarising yourself with the site (see images below)

  • 1 – Pre-trip: Check in with Reef Ecologic on required tasks. Easiest way is by email or phone. If you are just planning on taking photos and making some observations feel free to skip step 1. 
  • 2 – Ensure you have enough information to conduct activities  (camera, maps of locations etc)
  • 3 – On site – conduct required monitoring – check on nurseries, frames, ropes, corals. Check on outplanted corals: growing well, attaching to the reef, note disturbances.
  • 4 – Post trip: Check in with Reef Ecologic to report observations. Use Whatsapp, email or phone. 

As you gain more experience and knowledge the available tasks will become more detailed and complex. 

Map of our two research locations

Overview of locations at Blue Pearl Bay

Map of Research Locations – Blue Pearl Bay

Overview Image of Research Locations

Map of Research Locations – Manta Ray Bay 

Map of Research Locations – Manta Ray Bay 

Overview Image of Research Locations

Reef Restoration Monitoring and Maintenance Resources and Images 

Priority areas for cleaning nurseries

Outplanted rope corals and research tags (which can be hard to see)

Outplanted rope corals and yellow float as marker for outplant locations

Outplanted coral using CoralClip with research tag

FAQ’s

What is the aim of the project?

How to I register my interest to be involved?

Do I need to SCUBA dive to be involved?

I don’t have my own boat? What is the best way to get involved?

Do I need to undertake any formal training?

coral

coral II

coral III

this is an example

Wire Attachment of Coral

One of the methods we use for attaching propagated corals to our nurseries is to use wire to tie the cement discs to the aluminium frames. Originally we used cable ties but switched to steel ties to reduce our use of plastics. They are simple to use, poking one end of a 20cm long bit of wire through the pre-prepared hole in the disc and then, from underneath twisting the two wires together. It is recommended to be wear gloves as there are many stinging organisms that you will encounter living on the frames. 

Wire Attachment of Coral

One of the methods we use for attaching propagated corals to our nurseries is to use wire to tie the cement discs to the aluminium frames. Originally we used cable ties but switched to steel ties to reduce our use of plastics. They are simple to use, poking one end of a 20cm long bit of wire through the pre-prepared hole in the disc and then, from underneath twisting the two wires together. It is recommended to be wear gloves as there are many stinging organisms that you will encounter living on the frames. 

“A thoroughly enjoyable and rewarding weekend out with Reef Ecologic team at Blue Pearl Bay with a great collection of local industry representatives. The work that they are doing is inspirational on many levels and to be a part of the community wanting to make positive changes is so personally rewarding. I look forward to the next opportunity to participate in this project.”

Bruce Purdie, local community volunteer

This image highlights a number of outplanted corals but also the amount of turf algae and thick sediment these corals in the Whitsundays have to deal with to survive and thrive.

This image highlights a number of outplanted corals but also the amount of turf algae and thick sediment these corals in the Whitsundays have to deal with to survive and thrive.

Wire attachment of coral

Reef Restoration Tip 

One of the methods we use for attaching propagated corals to our nurseries is to use wire to tie the cement discs to the aluminium frames. Originally we used cable ties but switched to steel ties to reduce our use of plastics. They are simple to use, poking one end of a 20cm long bit of wire through the pre-prepared hole in the disc and then, from underneath twisting the two wires together. It is recommended to be wear gloves as there are many stinging organisms that you will encounter living on the frames. 

One other suggestion, be sure the wire is not too thin. Anything less than 1mm will likely rust away and disintegrate within 6 months rendering the attachment useless. Trust me, I learned this from experience.