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Coralpalooza Day of Action For Coral Reefs

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Coralpalooza Day of Action For Coral Reefs
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Coralpalooza is a World First Day of Global Action For Coral Reefs

  • Great Barrier Reef joins biggest day of global action to restore key reef sites
  • Divers will plant 4,000 corals in Port Douglas, Cairns and the Whitsundays
  • Funding raised by school children around Australia through School Run 4 Fun programs.

The Great Barrier Reef Foundation and the Coral Nurture Program are joining forces with reefs around the world in the first ever international day of collaborative action to help restore key reef sites.

Coralpalooza, created by Florida-based Coral Restoration Foundation, will take place on June 10 in honour of World Oceans Day in 12 countries globally. For the first time, Australia is joining this global effort and will plant corals at sites in Port Douglas, Cairns and the Whitsundays.

Coral fragments grown on suspected nurseries at Opal Reef off Port Douglas. Credit Calypso Productions
Coral fragments grown on suspected nurseries at Opal Reef off Port Douglas. Credit Calypso Productions

Great Barrier Reef Foundation Managing Director Anna Marsden said: “Reefs are suffering from the impacts of climate change like coral bleaching and severe cyclones. Hand-in-hand with reducing emissions, we need a range of efforts to give them the best chance of recovery.

“We’re proud to work with our partner, the Coral Nurture Program, on assisting recovery and research at high-value reef locations and will have over 45 divers out on the Reef to plant 4,000 coral fragments on the day.

“Long-term monitoring is critical to the success of this project and researchers will continue to monitor these sites to better understand the impact coral planting has on reefs and their marine life. This will help determine where and how to target our efforts to assist recovery at high-value reef locations in the future.”

The Coral Nurture Program is a collaboration between marine scientists and the tourism industry to research and deliver local reef restoration on key reef sites on the Great Barrier Reef.

Coral planting. Great Barrier Reef Foundation
Coral planting. Great Barrier Reef Foundation

Local tourism operators and CNP researchers from the University of Technology Sydney will be out in force at Coralpalooza planting coral fragments using the innovative CoralClip® – a Queensland invention that allows corals to be planted quickly and with good survival rates.

Dr Emma Camp, the project lead and co-founder of Coral Nurture Program, said: “This work is part of CNP’s aim to plant more than 100,000 corals by 2024 and work with local Reef communities to develop the tools they’ll need to help key coral reef sites adapt to climate change.

Wavelength Reef Cruises owner and CNP co-founder John Edmondson said: “We’ve had great natural recovery of many reef areas in the last couple of years but we know it is patchy.

Coralpalooza is an opportunity to establish large research plots of planted corals to help learn what helps on areas where recovery is really slow. It’s also great to join with the wider reef restoration community to help highlight the importance of international cooperation and collaboration.

Coral nursery. Credit: Great Barrier Reef Foundation
Coral nursery. Credit: Great Barrier Reef Foundation

Coralpalooza activities on the Reef were funded by thousands of dedicated school children around Australia who raised money in Run 4 Fun programs through Australian School and Club Fundraising (ASCF).

Ms Marsden said: “On behalf of the Reef and the thousands of species of marine life that call it home, we say a huge thank you for all your hard work raising funds to restore these critical reef sites.”

Coralpalooza began in 2014 when Coral Restoration Foundation first enlisted recreational divers for a day of large-scale coral restoration in honour of World Oceans Day in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.

Now in its ninth year, Coral Restoration Foundation takes hundreds of divers out for World Oceans Day every year to work with its team in the water, planting vast numbers of corals at its restoration sites.

This year, coral restoration will take place in Jamaica, Hawaii, Colombia, Indonesia, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, US Virgin Islands (St Croix), Costa Rica, Seychelles, Honduras, Maldives and Australia.

Preparing the nurseries. Credit: Coral Nurture Program
Preparing the nurseries. Credit: Coral Nurture Program

ABOUT THE GREAT BARRIER REEF FOUNDATION

The Great Barrier Reef Foundation is creating a future for the world’s coral reefs by protecting ocean habitats, restoring coral reefs and helping them adapt to the impacts of climate change. We’ve built a collaborative organisation to raise funds, invest in innovative ideas and design real- world, scalable conservation programs that are delivering breakthroughs in marine and terrestrial restoration. Walking in step with First Nations people and front-line communities, we’re fast- tracking and deploying solutions around the world.

ABOUT CORALPALOOZATM

At the heart of Coralpalooza is the idea of large-scale collaborative action to save and restore coral reefs. This is the heart of the mission of Coral Restoration Foundation, who are returning tens of thousands of corals to Florida’s Coral Reef within the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary every year.

ABOUT CORAL NURTURE PROGRAM

The Coral Nurture Program is a unique partnership between the tourism industry and scientists at the University of Technology Sydney to develop novel propagation-based management of economically high value Great Barrier Reef locations, with the goal to enhance both ecological and social resilience to environmental change. The work of Coral Nurture Program was recognised internationally this year by being named an Official Actor for the United Nations Decade of Ecosystem Restoration.

Images courtesy of: Great Barrier Reef Foundation, Calypso Productions, Coral Nurture Program

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Adrian Stacey
Adrian Stacey
Scuba Diver ANZ Editor, Adrian Stacey, first learned to dive on the Great Barrier Reef over 24 years ago. Since then he has worked as a dive instructor and underwater photographer in various locations around the world including, Egypt, Costa Rica, Indonesia, Thailand, Mexico and Saba. He has now settled in Australia, back to where his love of diving first began.
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