The Reef Recovery program for Magnetic Island is a research project with 3 parts: Knowledge (about people, sustainability, reef, restoration, research, risk assessment, communication), Field Research and Communication (building on the rare formula for change and conservation outcomes rare.org). Incorporating international students, local businesses, community members, national government and global conservationists doing regenerative work on inshore reefs, making this program the first of it’s kind on the Great Barrier Reef!
For the last 40 years the Great Barrier Reef has been "protected" yet it's dying faster than ever before. There is little to no regenerative work being done on the reef to help it combat the impacts of climate change and the reef's marine park is so large that the government doesn't think that it is an effective way to spend time or money. Many conservationists and marine biologists disagree and this program has a chance to prove different!
This a citizen science based program that allows University students and island tourists to get hands on experience with coral reef regeneration by physically removing harmful macroalgae from the reefs. Participants work with marine biologist and head of Reef Ecologic, Dr. Adam Smith in the removal of invasive macroalgae known as Sargassum from predetermined areas of the island’s fringing coral reefs. Dr. Smith hopes to observe the areas of Sargassum removal over time to assess the resilience of Magnetic Island’s fringing inshore reefs and involve all participating University groups in the process!
If this program can produce significant participation and successful coral recovery in areas of macroalgae removal, this could revolutionize future reef recovery initiatives throughout the Great Barrier Reef! The project kicked off as a pilot program in March of 2016 and is continuing to grow today! The program is currently seeking to grow in student and tourist participation and with the help of SciStarter this project can continue to reach new heights in the reef revolution!