Media Releases

Craig Humphreys leading a tour of the National Sea Simulator

Craig Humphreys leading a tour of the National Sea Simulator, photo courtesy of AIMS

Winning hearts, finding cash, and tough decisions to save the Reef

Engaging the hearts and minds of Australians in reef restoration, finding the large amounts of money needed, and developing sophisticated modelling tools to guide decisions, will be explored at the international Great Barrier Reef Restoration Symposium, in Cairns today.

National Environmental Science Program’s Tropical Water Quality Hub leader, and symposium convenor, Professor Damien Burrows said the final day would delve into the complex practicalities of successful reef restoration.

“The best reef restoration science in the world is impotent without the buy-in of the people, the right decision framework and regulatory environment, and significant funds,” he said.

“We’ll also be hearing the lessons learnt in reef restoration programs in Hawaii, Seychelles, Maldives, Puerto Rico, Florida and Mexico as well as here on the Great Barrier Reef.”

Australian Institute of Marine Science executive director, and Reef Restoration and Adaption Program director, David Mead said modelling tools would be critical in guiding effective and affordable reef restoration techniques.

“In devising a suite of techniques to help the Reef help itself, The Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program is drawing on leading expertise to develop sophisticated models that will predict the impact of both negative events and reef restoration activities,” he said.

“We will be able to see what will be most effective, where it needs to occur, and how we can be most cost-effective in both prevention activities and reef repair.”

Highlights of Wednesday 18 July:

  • Scaling up coral restoration using micro-fragmentation in Florida and Mexico: Dr David Vaughan, Mote Marine Lab
  • Modelling for decision-making – Professor Peter Mumby, UQ; Dr Scott Condie, CSIRO
  • Analysis of public debate on Reef restoration on Twitter – Dr Maxine Newlands, JCU
  • Who has a stake in reef restoration? – Dr Bruce Taylor, CSIRO
  • Mobilising capital at scale for restoration – Rich Gilmore, The Nature Conservancy
  • How to build a business case for reef restoration – Patrick Silvey, VenturePro
  • Launch of the Great Barrier Reef Foundation’s Out of the Blue Box Innovation Challenge, a global call for new ideas to bolster the Great Barrier Reef’s future resilience.

The Great Barrier Reef Restoration Symposium is a collaboration between the Tropical Water Quality Hub (TWQ) of the Australian Government’s National Environmental Science Program (NESP) and the Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program (RRAP), with funding support from the Association of Marine Park Tourism Operators (AMPTO) and the Reef and Rainforest Research Centre (RRRC). Additional partners include Reef Ecologic and the Reef Restoration Foundation.

For a program and further information:

What: The Great Barrier Reef Restoration Symposium

Where: Pullman Reef Hotel Casino, Wharf Street, Cairns

When: from 8:30am, 17 July

Media inquiries: Danielle Koopman, Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program: 0402 968 131 Twitter: @DanKoop1