Accelerating impact

It’s the greatest and largest reef on the planet – a spectacular hub of marine life, beautiful beyond compare. It contributes $6.4 billion to the Australian economy each year, creating 64,000 jobs – more than many large national companies. The quest to ensure it exists for generations to come is increasingly challenging. The pressures of a changing climate are having an impact.

The Great Barrier Reef suffered unprecedented back to back mass coral bleaching in 2016 and 2017 – a global phenomenon. Damaging tropical cyclones of increasing frequency and intensity compound the assault. It’s clear the world’s largest reef is under pressure like never before. It’s no longer business as usual for the scientists and managers charged with protecting our great natural treasure. It’s time for everyone, including the Foundation, to step up and do more.

That’s why we’re focused on projects that will directly help the Reef, both in the short and long term. 

Our projects range from saving endangered green turtles and restoring damaged reef ecosystems, to revealing coral DNA breakthroughs and using frontier technologies to create robotic reef 'rangers' and powerful, reef-scale monitoring and forecasting systems to help reef managers. 

We are working to develop the important new projects – the big, bold, complex projects that have the potential to create a step change for the Reef – projects to help keep the Reef we have and improve it in the future.

We bring together the expertise and funding for the projects – grounded in science, technology, engineering and on-ground action – that will ensure a Great Barrier Reef for future generations

Projects with impact.

Our Program Focus


Boosting the Reef's resilience so it can bounce back from and survive challenges like a changing climate and water quality issues. We’re buying the Reef time while the world works to meet the Paris Agreement.


Discovering new ways to restore reefs, to help them recover faster and rebuild, to ensure their continuing survival.


Seeking game-changing breakthroughs and piloting new techniques by bringing together the best and brightest minds from different fields to deliver creative solutions.

Through investing in, partnering with, and donating to the Foundation, here’s the science with impact for the Great Barrier Reef that we’re making possible together.

We're collaborating with our partners including the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Australian Institute of Marine Science and CSIRO to develop and fund future projects that will give the Reef its best chance. Projects that combine the on-ground action the Reef needs right now underpinned by strong science. Projects that will help deliver the Reef 2050 Plan. Projects that will ensure a Great Barrier Reef for future generations. 

New investment is needed to make these projects a reality and accelerate the impact we can have for the world's greatest reef. 

Please help the Reef and get involved. For major project partnership opportunities, contact us at

Completed projects

Sea fan coral

Biopolymer surface films

Sun shield for the Reef

What if there was a way to stop damaging levels of heat and light penetrating water and adversely affecting the Reef?


Carbon dioxide seeps

Window into the future

Bubbling volcanic carbon dioxide seeps created a unique undersea laboratory to investigate coral reefs under high CO2


Calcification rates of CCA

Cementing coral reefs

Calculating the calcification rates of crustose coralline algae, the 'glue' that binds coral reefs together


Coral reef habitat in 3D models

Reef in 3D

Using robots and stereo-imaging systems to map the seafloor and coral reefs in 3D

Surface film test 6 Image credit Phil Mercurio Australian Institute of Marine Science.jpg

Resilient Reefs Successfully Adapting to Climate Change Program

An ambitious four-year program that delivered key knowledge and tools to help manage the Reef in the face of a changing and increasingly variable climate.

The program delivered more than 30 projects including four successful pilot projects and two new game-changing tools for reef management.

Download the full report below.