Australian Flat Oyster Reef at Georges Bay, Tasmania - the last surviving healthy reef of its kind! © Chris Gillies/TNC

Stories in Australia

Turning Rubbish Into Reefs: Restoring Forgotten Shellfish Reefs

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At The Nature Conservancy, we do things a little differently.

When faced with the reality of more extinctions in estuaries than any other marine ecosystem, we wanted to do something about it. The temperate southern coast of Australia is home to hundreds of bays and estuaries containing important habitats like shellfish reefs, mangrove forests, seagrass beds and salt marshes.

These places provide vital environmental services that nature and people need to survive—water filtration, fish production and shoreline protection.

The health of these habitats is under threat. Many have been destroyed over the last 200 years to make way for coastal development. People living in these developments often suffer from the loss of the services the healthy habitats once provided–clean water, abundant fish and pristine beaches to enjoy.

Through our Great Southern Seascapes program, we’re working to repair these coastal habitats and restore their critical natural services. We’re partnering with all levels of government, recreational fishers, oyster growers, local communities and corporations to get the job done.

The result: We’re restoring lost shellfish reefs from Victoria to Western Australia, mapping the ocean’s wealth, recycling seashells and providing people all over the world a chance to view our marine habitats via the web.

That’s marine conservation for people and for nature.

Visit our Australia website to learn more about The Nature Conservancy’s work in Australia.