Fitzroy Island, just 29 kilometres south-east of Cairns, is the location of Reef Restoration Foundation’s first ocean-based coral nursery.

This large tropical island is covered with rainforest and surrounded by a reef system that is part of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. There is accommodation at Fitzroy Island Resort and at the campground. The Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre is located on the island which is known for its population of green sea turtles. The Cairns Dive Centre has water sport activities and the island can be reached from Cairns on a 45-minute ferry ride.

Proposed sites

We are currently seeking other permits from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority to establish nurseries in other high value locations.

The project was seed-funded by Reef Restoration Foundation, Fitzroy Island Resort, Cairns Dive Centre, Association of Marine Park Tourism Operators (AMPTO), Gempearl and the Australian Government’s National Environmental Science Programme. Subsequently, we have received a grant from the National Australian Bank Foundation and sponsorship and donations from Japanese tour operator JTB, education tour company Small World Journeys, health, beauty, and home care supplier Amway and Swiss watch manufacturer Oris that have enabled us to expand the nursery. In-kind support has been provided by the Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre, Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef, Possible People, Reef Ecologic, Fortis One, RGG Insights, Holding Redlich, BMT and Ports North.

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