26 Aug
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Fitzroy Island’s Reef Restoration

A 45-minute boat ride on the Fitzroy Flyer will take you from Cairns, Queensland, to Fitzroy Island! An island where the family-run Fitzroy Island Resort is located. Fitzroy Island is surrounded by a reef system that is a part of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, making it the ideal accessible base for snorkelling, scuba diving, and exploring the reef.

Fitzroy Island is a 4-square kilometre continental island that is 97% National Park, covered in tropical rainforest, and open to the public via a system of well-established and distinctly defined walking trails. The island’s two main beaches, Welcome Bay and Nudey Beach, the Summit, the highest point on the island, and the ancient lighthouse at the eastern end are all easily accessible by foot because of the island’s soft, hilly terrain.

But, Fitzroy Island features more than just some of the most exquisite scenery, rainforests, and white coral beaches! Ever since they acquired the land in 2010, the resort has been a pioneer in the field of conserving the coral reef and all of its creatures, including, of course, sea turtles.

As staunch supporters of the Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre and various other sustainability projects, it only made sense that the Reef Restoration project is taking place on Fitzroy Island.

Keep reading to find out more about the Reef Restoration Project of the Great Barrier Reef.

Introduction to Reef Restoration Project

It is widely believed that the Great Barrier Reef is either dead or dying, more so it is also under threat. By implementing workable, observable, and ground-breaking solutions that will enhance the Great Barrier Reef’s health, The Reef Restoration aims to inspire hope and optimism.

A chain of offshore coral nurseries is being established by the non-profit Reef Restoration Foundation, starting with Fitzroy Island. This remedy has been tried and tested elsewhere and customised for the Great Barrier Reef. Damaged reefs can reopen and regenerate more quickly and become more resistant to further bleaching events because of this process, which mimics nature.

The pilot project’s six coral-growing trees were the first to be planted in December 2017. Since then, the reef restoration project has grown to include 20 coral trees and more than 2000 coral nymphs! Over 300 trees have already been replanted into the reef because of these efforts and there are certainly no plans to slow down.

The Way the Project Works

Each nursery includes 10 metal tree frames floating in the aquatic environment. Tiny amounts of healthy corals that have endured the previous 2 years of extreme heat are collected by the team; due to these conditions, these corals should naturally be more resistant to rising water temperatures and coral bleaching.

The corals are gathered and raised in an offshore coral nursery on Fitzroy Island; this is because they develop there much more quickly than they do on the reef in their natural habitat.

Cuttings are obtained from each of the developing corals after 6 to 12 months. After being planted, the cuttings will help the reef expand, regenerate, and enhance its resiliency.

The initial corals continue to grow in the nurseries, making this cycle ongoing.  Numerous additional corals can be grown from the original coral cut! Using cuttings from healthy plants to generate new plants is comparable to this strategy


The Goal

To make a change, to raise awareness, to educate, to save, to recover, and to encourage more people!

The Reef Restoration project hopes to be able to demonstrate to the community the accomplishments of their dedicated group of volunteers and to provide individuals the chance to support non-profit organisations like the Reef Restoration Foundation by making donations to volunteer-based initiatives.

Giving to the Reef Restoration Foundation through Fitzroy Island Resort will help fund realistic coral restoration research projects that will revive the Great Barrier Reef’s valuable coral reefs.

Furthermore, weekly educational presentations are held at the resort to find out more about the incredible job the foundation has been performing. This is a great addition for youth groups who want to learn more about the Great Barrier Reef’s condition, the reef restoration effort, and how they can get involved in its restoration!

The major goal of the Reef Restoration Foundation is to plant 1 million corals by 2026. As part of this endeavour, visitors to the island may be able to get involved and help to plant coral too.

By being able to be involved, tourists and visitors can truly learn more about the reef, it’s future and be actively involved in its sustainability.

Fitzroy Island and the Future of the Great Barrier Reef

Here on Fitzroy Island, it’s our aim to do everything we can to promote the future of the Great Barrier Reef. In addition to supporting the efforts of the Reef Restoration Project, the Fitzroy Island Resort is also a proud to be a major sponsor of the Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre on the island, a citizen of the Great Barrier Reef and we’ve also eliminated plastic straws from the resort in conjuction with “The Last Straw” and we’re actively reducing the amount of phasic we use by eliminating all single use plastic too.

We want to keep our island and the world around us safe and beautiful for many years to come. You can learn more about our sustainability efforts here and more about the island here.

Visit Fitzroy Island – a tropical island in the waters of the Great Barrier Reef.

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