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Sprigg Lecture Series: Restoring the Reef

Sprigg Lecture

Apr 16 - 6:00 PM

South Australian Museum


Restoring the Reef: How historical research informs ecological restoration

By Professor Sean Connell and Dr Heidi Alleway.

Coastal marine environments have endured centuries of human use and exploitation, but these impacts can be overlooked where a new baseline for ‘normal’ has been accepted. This influences the way people view and interact with nature and the way we manage our activities.

We can create a more accurate picture of past environments through historical records such as reports, letters, journals and photographs, as well as museum collections and geological records. An outstanding example of the loss of knowledge of recent past ecosystems sits right at out front doorstep.

The Great Southern Reef, every bit as ecologically and economically important as the Great Barrier Reef, suffered the loss of 1600km of reef just within South Australian waters during the 1800’s. Dr Heidi Alleway and Professor Sean Connell will reveal the research that uncovered this massive loss of ecological services to our southern coastline. They will guide us through the historical research to the first risky steps of restoring the reefs that are a significant part of our lost natural and cultural heritage.