In November 2020 Ecosure’s employee of the year, Restorations Operations Manager Duncan Smith, Principal Restoration Ecologist Jen Ford and General Manager Diane Lanyon attended Reef Ecologic’s Leadership and Reef Restoration Workshop on Orpheus Island. The workshop was a fantastic opportunity for restoration experts, Traditional Owners, and thought leaders to come together to learn from each other, make connections and plan for the future of the planet.
Reef restoration is a rapidly developing method aimed to help coral reefs bounce back after damaging events such as cyclones, ship groundings and mass coral bleaching events. New approaches and insights are coming online at an unprecedented pace, and it is crucial that people involved in reef conservation and sustainable use understand the benefits, limitations and best practices relating to reef restoration.
There are many elements of assessing, planning, and monitoring restoration sites that can be drawn from terrestrial restoration techniques. As a team we thoroughly enjoyed networking and meeting new people and particularly meeting the Traditional Owners who are so keen to get some great restoration projects started on their country.
“My favourite thing by far was snorkelling in a Mangrove forest! Who gets to snorkel in a forest?” said Jen. “The synergies and learnings we could apply between terrestrial and marine ecosystem restoration are extensive. I look forward to continue the learning journey with this great group of people.”
Duncan was blown away, “We practiced putting together a coral nursery on land, but couple that with developing an appreciation of some of the extensive practical and logistical requirements to set up a nursery underwater, scaling up will be interesting.”
“I loved visiting the old Giant Clam (Tridacna spp) farm, snorkelling on some great reefs and meeting some amazing people,” said Diane. “Because the workshop was over 3 days you really get to know people and create a level of trust. From this workshop some of us have come together to create a Ridge to Reef Working Group, with a plan for some Traditional Owner led projects on ecosystem restoration in the Great Barrier Reef.”
The Reef Ecologic team and their partners put together an excellent workshop. The focus on leadership, reef restoration and an integration with Traditional Owners made the weekend even more special.
Check out this video put together by the Reef and Rainforest Research Centre (RRRC) one of the workshop partners about the workshop: