What is the Reef Restoration Project?

The Great Barrier Reef is under threat and there is a perception worldwide that the reef is either dead or dying.  The Reef Restoration’s purpose is to create hope and optimism through undertaking practical, tangible and breakthrough solutions that will make positive improvements to the health of the Great Barrier Reef.

Reef Restoration Foundation is a not for profit social enterprise is establishing a series of offshore coral nurseries, starting at Fitzroy Island. This solution has been proven overseas and adapted to the Great Barrier Reef.  This process mimics nature and allows damaged reefs to re-open faster and increase resilience to future bleaching events.

The pilot project commenced in December 2017 with six coral growing trees. Since then we have expanded to 20 coral trees with more than 2000 growing coral babies! To date, we have out-planted over 300 trees back into the reef and we are not slowing down!

Fitzroy Island Resort are very supportive of the launching of the Coral Restoration program here at Fitzroy Island. Our Resort has been, ever since we purchased the property in 2010, leaders in the field of protecting the coral reef and its inhabitants, including of course the Turtles. It is no coincidence that the very first step in developing coral restoration on the Reef is occurring at Fitzroy Island, where we have already established, a strong working relationship between the Resort, the Turtle Volunteers and the Cairns Dive Centre.

Click here to watch a video update of the Reef Restoration.


How Does it Work?

  • The team collect small amounts of healthy corals that have survived the last two years of high temperatures – these corals should be naturally more resilient to higher water temperatures and coral bleaching.
  • The corals are collected and grown in an off-shore coral nursery on Fitzroy Island – the corals grow significantly faster in the nurseries than on the reef.
  • After 6-12 months, cuttings are taken from each of the growing corals. The cuttings are then planted to the Reef to grow and regenerate damaged sections of the reef and strengthen resilience.
  • The original corals remain in the nurseries to re-grow and the process becomes a continuous cycle.
  • From the initial cutting of coral, thousands of new corals can be created! This is a similar approach to taking cuttings from healthy plants to grow new plants.

Make a Difference

We anticipate being able to show the community the results of the efforts of our group of enthusiastic volunteers and to also provide them with an opportunity to get behind the Reef Restoration Foundation and others like them, including the opportunity to invest donations into these volunteer-based programs.

Give to the Reef Restoration Foundation via Fitzroy Island Resort and you will be contributing to undertaking practical coral restoration research projects that will regenerate high-value coral reefs in the Great Barrier Reef. 

Informative talks are conducted weekly at the resort to learn more about the impressive work the foundation has been doing. School groups can add this in to your itinerary, learning more about the secret life of corals, the reef restoration project, the state of the Great Barrier Reef and how you can help! 

The Reef Restoration Foundations main objective is to plant 1 Million corals by 2026. They aimed to achieve that by allowing guests to actively plant a coral, which will make our target more achievable and result in a much more vibrant reef for our guests!

Stay tuned on our website, Facebook and Instagram for future updates on programs which include snorkel tours to visit the nursery and have a chance to plant a coral yourself!

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