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Restore Local Reefs

Story: Lyndal Magee | Photo: Pete Johnson
Aug 20, 2020
Restore Local Reefs
Since Margate local Ocean Wilkins was born just nine years ago, the world’s coral population has reduced by more than 72 percent. Now, Ocean wants your help to build a new coral reef right on the Peninsula. With a permit to create and install a Biorock® coral reef at Scott’s Point, his September planning event aims to get locals involved in the project.

“It’s going to be a really fun day,” he said. “We’ll be providing education as well as several workstations where people can get involved in actually creating some cool things.”

The reef will use Biorock® technology: a steel frame through which a solar powered electric current is delivered to help coral grow quickly. “(The frame) can be welded and bent into a variety of shapes and sizes,” Ocean said. “I’m really hoping the community will help me design it.”

Attendees will also have the opportunity to design and create a turtle nest safety barrier to protect sea turtle hatchlings vulnerable to beach erosion, and become involved longer-term to help Ocean collect data necessary for the project’s success.

Ecological restoration specialist and guest speaker Dean Philpot said the project has wide reaching potential. “When I first saw it, I thought it was exactly the kind of project that should be started on a mass scale, but obviously starting with a few trials like this one,” he said. “It’s just the right thing to be doing.”

Mr Philpot hopes the day will serve as an opportunity for people to reconnect with the bay. “When people come to this event and they realise that such small actions can potentially result in some really incredible outcomes, they’ll feel proud of what they’ve been a part of,” he said. 

When asked if the event is open to children and adults, Ocean puts it best. “Anyone is welcome,” he said. “As long as they’ve got morals to protect corals.”

Book tickets by searching for Biorock and Reef Garden Planning Day on Facebook.

Biorock® and Reef Garden Planning Day
Saturday 19 September, 9:30am-1pm
Margate Beach
Bring: hat, reef-safe sunscreen, towel & water