The Reef Restoration at work
By taking small cuttings from healthy corals that survived the 2016 and 2017 bleaching events, not only are the reefs being restored but the new corals are naturally more resilient to warmer ocean temperatures. A method successfully implemented globally, these nurseries are the first of their kind in Australia.
1) The corals are selected.
The corals are selected, collected and cut into mother colonies and coral fragments, approximately 5-15cm long. Mother colonies are source colonies for future tree propagation, very similar to taking cuttings from plants to grow new plants.
2) The nursery is built.
The mother colonies and coral fragments are attached to the nursery frames in an ocean-based environment adjacent to a damaged reef.
3) The corals are left to grow.
The corals are checked every 7-10 days to ensure there are no signs of disease.
The nursery frames are cleaned and the corals are regularly measured.
4) The corals are transferred.
After 6-12 months of growth, the fragments are attached back to the reef to regenerate damaged sections, and strengthen the reef's resilience to warmer oceans.
The nursery frames are then re-stocked with coral fragments cut from the mother colonies. These corals will regrow and the process will become a continuous cycle allowing thousands of new corals to be created from the initial coral cutting.