Coral Restoration at Summer Bay Resort and CoralKu

Coral reefs, often referred to as the “rainforests of the sea,” are crucial for maintaining the health of our oceans. However, these vibrant ecosystems face numerous threats, including climate change, overfishing, and pollution. At Summer Bay Resort, we are deeply committed to protecting and restoring these underwater treasures. This article highlights our coral restoration efforts in collaboration with CoralKu, showcasing our methods and inviting you to join us in this important cause.

What is a Coral Reef?

coral reef

Coral reefs are made up of colonies of hundreds to thousands of tiny individual corals, known as polyps. These marine invertebrate animals have hard exoskeletons made of calcium carbonate and are sessile, meaning they are permanently fixed in one place. Polyps grow slowly, forming various shapes and sizes depending on their species.
With the help of other calcium carbonate-secreting animals and coralline algae, corals build complex, three-dimensional structures known as reefs. These reefs provide vital ecosystems for marine life, offering food and shelter within their crevices and branches for a variety of creatures, including fish, mollusks, sea urchins, and sponges.

The Importance of Coral Restoration

coral restoration

Coral reefs are not only beautiful but also provide essential benefits to marine life and human communities. These vibrant ecosystems serve as habitats for diverse marine species, supporting fish, invertebrates, and other organisms crucial for maintaining ocean health. Coral reefs also support fishing industries by providing breeding and nursery grounds for commercially important fish species, ensuring sustainable fish populations vital for food security and the economic well-being of coastal communities. Additionally, reefs act as natural barriers, protecting coastlines from erosion and storm damage, and contribute significantly to tourism, attracting millions of visitors worldwide for activities such as snorkeling and diving.
However, the degradation of coral reefs, driven by climate change, pollution, overfishing, and destructive practices, poses a significant threat to their benefits. Coral bleaching, disease, and physical damage harm these ecosystems and the human communities that depend on them. Coral restoration, using techniques like coral gardening and frames, aims to reverse this damage, replenish populations, enhance genetic diversity, and rebuild reef structures. By investing in coral restoration, we preserve the natural beauty and biodiversity of coral reefs and protect the vital services they provide. Ensuring the health and sustainability of coral reefs is essential for the well-being of marine ecosystems and the millions of people who rely on them.

Summer Bay Resort: Leading the Way in Coral Restoration

Located in the pristine waters of Lang Tengah Island, Summer Bay Resort is dedicated to environmental conservation. Through our collaboration with the non-profit organization CoralKu, we have created a Coral Restoration Project at Lang Tengah Island, using pioneering coral frame techniques to increase coral cover and biodiversity.

CoralKu: Our Restoration Partner

coralku centre at summer bay resort

CoralKu is an innovative non-profit organization focused on coral restoration. They aim to restore damaged reefs and promote marine biodiversity through scientific research and hands-on restoration activities. Driven by a passion for preserving marine ecosystems and educating the public, we have been collaborating with CoralKu to implement effective coral restoration techniques.
Since 2021, CoralKu has been instrumental in our efforts to restore a shallow reef site in front of Summer Bay Resort. This site has now become a favorite snorkeling spot for everyone to see and enjoy. As part of this project, over 5,000 corals from 42 species were planted, with natural reef elements added to mimic the reef ecosystem as much as possible.
comparison of coral garden in 2021 and 2024
Recently, we celebrated a significant milestone when 8 coral species in the coral garden spawned. This marks the start of natural coral larvae production to aid reef recovery, highlighting the success of our restoration efforts.

Coral Frames: Our Key Coral Restoration Technique

Coral Frames: Our Key Coral Restoration Technique

One of the primary methods utilized by Summer Bay Resort and CoralKu is the use of coral frames. This coral propagation program is simple and effective. Small fragments of corals are attached to metal frames, allowing them to grow and mature into new colonies in the resort’s lagoon. Our coral frames are designed to support up to 50 broken coral fragments. They provide a stable surface for corals to attach and grow, helping mitigate coral loss in areas where natural substrate has eroded.
Within six months, the corals start to grow new branches, and fish begin returning to the area. Within a year, the corals can grow up to 15cm in length, and within three years, they form a small reef that integrates with the natural reef substrate. For example, the SB091 coral frame at Summer Bay Resort illustrates how coral frames can facilitate the growth and restoration of coral reefs.
In late 2021, we launched the ‘Citizen Restoration Program’ at Summer Bay Resort, Lang Tengah Island. We invite dedicated citizens and divers from all backgrounds to join us on-site and help deploy coral frames at a popular dive site in need of restoration. Heavy sedimentation and reef degradation have left many broken corals at risk of being covered by sand and dead coral rubble. Our aim is to deploy at least 100 coral frames by 2024, with approximately 5,000 pieces of broken corals. This method aims to mitigate coral loss, restore a popular snorkeling and diving site, and establish a ‘donor bank’ for more reef restoration.

Get Involved: How You Can Help

Coral restoration is a collective effort that requires the participation of individuals, communities, and organizations. At Summer Bay Resort, we offer several ways for you to get involved and contribute to the restoration of coral reefs.

Participate in Coral Planting Activities

Participate in Coral Planting Activities

Guests at Summer Bay Resort can participate in coral planting activities, gaining hands-on experience in coral restoration. This unique opportunity allows participants to learn about the importance of coral reefs and actively contribute to their recovery.

Adopt a Coral Frame

Another way to support coral restoration is by adopting a coral frame. By sponsoring a coral frame, you can help fund the restoration efforts and track the progress of your adopted frame over time. When you adopt a coral frame, you will receive a unique reference number, and photos will be uploaded every six months to the Coral Summer Bay Dive website, allowing you to monitor the growth of your corals from your home as they mature and flourish. This initiative not only supports the restoration of coral reefs but also fosters a personal connection to the cause. If you want to sponsor a frame, you can submit the form here.

Volunteer Programs

CoralKu offers volunteer programs for those who wish to dedicate more time and effort to coral restoration. Volunteers work alongside marine biologists and conservationists, gaining valuable insights and contributing to meaningful conservation work.

Educational Workshops

Educational Workshops by coralku and summerbay resort

In addition to hands-on activities, Summer Bay Resort and CoralKu host educational workshops designed to increase awareness and understanding of coral reefs and the importance of their conservation. These workshops are suitable for all ages and provide a comprehensive overview of coral ecosystems, threats they face, and the efforts being made to protect them.

Conclusion

The coral restoration efforts at Summer Bay Resort, in collaboration with CoralKu, are a testament to the power of collaboration and commitment in preserving our natural world. Through innovative techniques and community involvement, we are making significant strides in restoring coral reefs and promoting marine biodiversity. By participating in these efforts, you can play a vital role in ensuring the health and sustainability of our oceans for generations to come.
For more information on how to get involved, visit CoralKu and Coral Summer Bay Dive. Together, we can make a difference and protect the invaluable treasures of our oceans.

Visit Summer Bay Resort at Lang Tengah Island

summer bay resort
At Summer Bay Resort, we are not only dedicated to coral restoration but also to creating a paradise for our guests to escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Nestled in the serene waters of Lang Tengah Island, our resort offers a perfect blend of luxury and nature, providing an idyllic setting for relaxation and adventure. Immerse yourself in the beauty of our pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and lush surroundings.
Experience world-class hospitality and a range of activities designed to make your stay unforgettable. Book your visit now and discover why Summer Bay Resort is the ultimate destination for rejuvenation and tranquility.