On January 10 & 11, 2019 a coral restoration workshop was held on Nusa Lembongan island. The workshop brought together members of the Nusa Lembongan & Penida dive community in an effort to begin coral restoration in at important divesites in the area.
Over the last several years dive sites along the northern coastline of Nusa Penida have suffered from coral breakage. The resulting rubble areas have shown little signs of natural recovery over the previous seven years that the site has been monitored. Rubble areas are highly mobile and have been eroding across the reef flat and down the reef slope - increasing the size of the impact footprint. Additionally, very little natural recovery or recruitment survival has been seen in these rubble areas. There is reduced reef health compared to adjacent reef areas, due to these impact sites being 100% rubble. Therefore coral restoration measures are needed in the area. The coral restoration workshop was an attempt to start restoring these areas of impacted reef.
Prior to this workshop, a pilot project has been taking place by biologist and certified restoration practicioner Andrew Taylor (Blue Corner Marine Research) to determine the restoration method which is best suited to the specific environmental conditions of Nusa Penida. Based on results of that study, the restoration method chosen for Nusa Penida was to conduct a two step physical and biological restoration effort. First by physically stabilizing the rubble substrate using modular reef structures – or coral frames. By installing these structures a framework is provided to minimize erosion and create patch reefs. Suitable hard coral species were then transplanted upon the structures to establish patch reefs which will in time expand across the rubble area. This restoration effort is the start of what will be an ongoing restoration program in the Nusa Islands.
The workshop was organized and taught by Biologist Andrew Taylor and run as an intensive 2 day event for professional local divers of the Nusa islands in Bali. The first day involved classroom training on coral reef ecology and restoration techniques, followed by an afternoon of working dives. On the second day structures and coral transplants were inspected and documented for what will be an ongoing monitoring project. The workshop was offered free of charge to the local community in an effort to get all the dive instructors, divemasters and dive centres involved in protecting and restoring the reef. During the workshop 50 coral frames were installed at the restoration site ! Funding for reef structures and operational logistics of the workshop was made possible with diver donations, assistance from several diveshops on the Nusa Islands, fundraising events at Blue Corner Bar, and generous donations from Project Aware and PADI.
The event was attended by 25 dive professionals from the Nusa Islands.
Dive centres which supported the project through volunteers :
- Blue Corner Dive
- Ceningan Divers
- World Diving Lembongan
- Legend Diving Lembongan
- Scuba Junkie Penida
- Scuba Center Asia
Other organizations providing support :
- Marine Megafauna Foundation
- Coral Triangle Center
- Lembongan Marine Association
- Komunitas Penyelam Lembongan
- Ministry of Marine Affairs, Bali Province (DKP)
Logistical and Equipment support :
- Blue Corner Dive
Financial support :
- Project Aware
- Blue Corner Bar / Blue Corner Dive