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Cairns Port Douglas Reef Hub

Cairns, Port Douglas


  • Local organisations are working to protect and rehabilitate areas of the Great Barrier Reef, but these activities need to be coordinated and collaborative for greater impact.

  • The Reef Hub is an open collaborative network that is connecting, growing, and championing the efforts of tourism operators, Traditional Owners, community groups, and other organisations in the region that are supporting the resilience of the Great Barrier Reef.

  • Through support, facilitation, and knowledge-sharing, the Reef Hub aims to increase the positive impact of local reef restoration efforts.

Key points

Cairns Port Douglas Reef Hub


Abbi Scott

Research Officer

Katie Chartrand

Senior Research Fellow

Research leads

Local challenges for building reef resilience

A range of pressures increasingly threaten the health of the Great Barrier Reef, and hands-on efforts are urgently needed to build reef resilience. These activities are needed across regional to local scales, and many local organisations are already acting to protect and rehabilitate the reef.

However, these activities need to be coordinated and collaborative to be effective. Local organisations need a way to share ideas, gain knowledge and skills, and work together to improve reef health in a scalable way. The Cairns-Port Douglas Reef Hub was created to provide these connections.

A network for sharing, learning, and championing local reef restoration efforts

The Cairns-Port Douglas Reef Hub is a network connecting individuals and groups working to increase reef resilience in the region, and supporting their activities, facilitating knowledge sharing, and building capacity.

The Reef Hub aims to coordinate activities and pilot programs, provide a platform for communication and connection between Traditional Owners, tourism operators, government, researchers, and the community, and build capacity through training and access to appropriate tools.

The Reef Hub is a pilot program using an action learning approach, working with collaborators and adapting to their needs as the project progresses. By connecting and supporting the efforts of local organisations, the Reef Hub hopes to create a better future for coral reefs.

Projects shaping a better future for coral reefs

The Reef Hub has coordinated several projects to date:

  • Spawning School – a practical learning program run in partnership with Reef Recruits that trained local First Nations Land and Sea Rangers how to raise coral larvae for reef restoration.

  • Recruitment Tile Study – run with a collective of local organisations, investigating relative coral recruitment within and across give reefs following mass spawning.

  • Collaborative Monitoring Project – a pilot project run with RRAP, Traditional Owners, community partners, and tourism operators to test collaborative models for deploying and monitoring the best coral seeding systems for widespread use on the Great Barrier Reef.

  • Capacity building workshops – practical training that assists reef recovery and monitoring, based on practitioner needs.

Next steps

Further funding is required to expand the programs coordinated by the Reef Hub and to ensure longer term impact.

Project details

The Cairns-Port Douglas Reef Hub is hosted by TropWATER and coordinated by Dr Katie Chartrand and Dr Abbi Scott. The Reef Hub is funded by the partnership between the Australian Government’s Reef Trust and the Great Barrier Reef Foundation and enabled by the partnership’s Community Reef Protection and Traditional Owner Reef Protection components, and the Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program with a network of local partners.

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