Reef Recovery on Magnetic Island is an innovative project in partnership with government, researchers, industry and community that aims to make a positive environmental, social and economic benefit for our local reefs and communities. The initial focus is to determine the best method for removal of macroalgae (seaweed) from nearshore habitat by trained scientists and trained volunteers. The project aims to be a positive stewardship example where individuals and groups can make a positive difference at a local, reef and global scale. Our project vision is "Community, researchers, industry and government working together by sharing knowledge, monitoring and taking action to restore coral reefs to a healthy state around Magnetic Island by 2025”
The project has potential environmental, social and economic benefits for the reef, community and industry. The potential environmental benefit of the Reef Recovery project are associated with improving future inshore coral reef health by removing seaweed. At Magnetic Island nearshore reefs there is lots of seaweed and declining amounts of coral. We have research permits which allow controlled collection of seaweed to allow future corals space to grow and for juvenile corals to settle. The seaweed we collect is measured and weighed and then taken to the Magnetic island Reef Guardian school for use as compost.
The Reef Recovery team have partnered with local groups. For the planning phase we partnered with the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Queensland Department of Primary Industries and SeaLink Queensland to determine strategic and operational objectives, permits and reporting. We work closely with academic bodies including James Cook University and the Australian Institute of Marine Science so that our research is mutually beneficial and there is no negative impact or overlap with existing research sites. The Reef Recovery team work closely with a broad cross-section of the community represented by the Townsville Local Marine Advisory Committee. We have worked closely with edu-tourism interests including Reef HQ, Sealink Qld, Bungalow Bay Koala Village and TOMBI on the links with education, research and tourism. The Reef Recovery team have recently established a partnership with Port of Townsville to focus on research and sustainability of marine environments. At an international level we engage with AUIP Study Abroad programs and American universities to share knowledge, make a difference and change behaviour so that we are all more sustainable.
Paul Victory General Manager for SeaLink said " this initiative is an important project for the development of science based tourism product on Magnetic Island, visitors to Magnetic Island come to experience a Great Barrier Reef island community and the opportunity to take part in such an important project, provides a powerful sense of fulfilment for visitors. SeaLink is thrilled to be taking part in this initiative.”
There is huge potential for reef recovery and reef restoration practices from this project at Magnetic island to be adopted and used widely by government, scientists, tourism, industry and citizen science to benefit other Queensland communities as well as Australia and international coral reefs. We plan on organising a future community event with our partners in October 2016.
More information: Dr Adam Smith, [email protected] 0418726584
View the ABC News story here