Learn about the Coral Gardening Project

In March 2018, Plantation Island Resort embarked on a Coral Gardening Project led by Dr Austin Bowden-Kerby from Corals for Conservation. The project aims to restore and enhance the shallow marine environment around Plantation Island as well as reducing the seagrass and promoting increased habitat for grazing fish and enhance the beauty of the surrounding reef. Resort guests have also enjoyed the coral garden and participate in education programs and other hands-on activities.

In May 2019, Plantation Island Resort hosted a coral gardening workshop which was attended by various Resorts and Operators around the Mamanuca Islands. The participants discussed the impacts that Climate Change was having on coral bleaching, coral gardening methods, ideas for a Malolo Marine Park, nursery sites and coral ecology.

Plantation Island Resort is an ideal location to kick-start coral reef restoration as it has two barrier reefs which can be used for outplanting heat adapted corals so that they may survive the rapid projected increases in temperature as a result of climate change. The resort also has an inner fringing reef where Corals for Conservation (C4C) can collect heat-adapted corals for the purpose of translocating them to the outer barrier reef.

In the duration of Corals for Conservation’s partnership with Plantation Island Resort, we have constructed six nurseries which have enabled collected corals to grow to adult sizes. When the corals reach a certain size, they are then transported to areas which are projected to not exceed these coral’s maximum temperature range. We have created five restoration sites where the corals grown in our nurseries were placed on degraded sections of reef to restart the process of reef building. We consistently test and adjust our methods to try and select the most thermally tolerant corals.

Through our partnership with Plantation Island Resort over the next two years Corals for Conservation aims to create a network of super coral outplanting sites which will be dotted across the Outer Barrier Reef to restore the reef to what it once was before mass bleaching events and other threats eradicated the living corals in the area. By placing patches of reproductive super corals across the “rubble zone” of the Outer Barrier Reef near Plantation Island Resort, the corals will eventually glue the reef back together and increase biodiversity not only on our reef but on neighboring reefs as well.

Guest Activities

Get yourself involved!

Guests can find the weekly schedule near the boat shed and also sign up there.

Some activities have limits on the number of guests that can attend so early registration is encouraged. The timing of the activities are subjected to according to the tides, however the day remains the same for all coral conservation activities.

Schedule

Explore the Coral Gardens

Mondays

Activity: Fish House Making
Cost: $10 (charge to room)
Location: Marine Hut next to Boat Shed

Tuesday

Activity: Coral Gardening
Cost: Free
Location: Beach near old Jetty/Boat Shed
*Guests cannot wear sunscreen and must have clean hands

Wednesday

Activity: Coral Nursery Tour with Dulcinea
Cost: Adults $25, Kids $15 with $5 per person coming back to Marine Program, charged to room
Location: More information and sign up with Dulcinea
*No sunscreen

Thursday

Activity: Kids Club Conservation Talk
Cost: Free
Location: Sign up and report to Kids Club, they bring the kids to us

Friday

Activity: Coral Gardening
Cost: Free
Location: Beach near old Jetty/Boat Shed
*Guests cannot wear sunscreen and must have clean hands

Saturday

Activity: Kids Club Educational Games
Cost: Free
Location: Sign up and report to Kids Club

Sunday

Activity: Coral Nursery Tour with Dulcinea
Cost: Adults $25, Kids $15 with $5 per person coming back to Marine Program, charged to room
Location: More information and sign up with Dulcinea
*No sunscreen

Kids Eat & Transfer Free Offer

Make your Family holiday one of the most memorable ever.