May 2019 to April 2020Proof of Concept of broad propagation and out-planting at multiple reef sites in partnership with 5 tour companies.
(Australian/Queensland Government challenge “Boosting Coral Abundance on the GBR” Stage 2)
UTS and Wavelength Reef Cruises were one of three successful projects to be funded. This project asks how the approach, which has been successfully implemented at a single reef, could be applied across different reef sites of the GBR. In doing so, a goal is to provide standard operating and reporting procedures to achieve scalability via coordinated practices.
We believe upscaling is most viable with a collective effort of many people, in many locations. Following on from the Proof of Feasibility stage, this second stage has therefore led to the development of the Coral Nurture Program. The same coral propagation and out-planting methods are the foundation of this next stage, but individual GBR sites have different needs, so the developing network of practitioners is not limited to any single method.
As a starting point, a selection of five high standard tour operators each with a long-term commitment to specific locations, have joined forces as participants of this pilot stage of the Coral Nurture Program. The number is restricted to five reefs for this year due to a precautionary approach, which is part of this Proof of Concept stage.
The funding enables the essential science to be undertaken, without which such a program would be impossible. The project coordinators are adding in-kind contributions.