$15 million partnerships program open for marine discovery

20 December 2021

The Morrison Government is launching a new $15 million program through Parks Australia to drive partnerships in conservation, research and restoration in Australian Marine Parks.

The Ocean Discovery and Restoration program is part of the Government’s $100 million Ocean Leadership Package and will create opportunities for businesses, philanthropists, Traditional Owners and research organisations to partner with Parks Australia on high-priority discovery and restoration projects in Australian Marine Parks.

Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley said the four-year program is designed to encourage flexibility and innovation, enabling partners to contribute to a portfolio of pre-scoped projects or identify and propose their own projects for funding.

“Australia’s network of marine parks is one of the largest in the world and home to a spectacular range of species,” Minister Ley said.

“There is still much to discover about these vast and remote places and the program will forge new partnerships to develop cutting-edge research and solutions for future management and inspiring voyages of discovery.

“Parks Australia will co-contribute in delivering discovery and restoration projects that are important to science, Traditional Owners, industry, park managers and the community.

“This program aims to address knowledge gaps and support investment in priority conservation projects including coral reef resilience, environmental DNA, the management of marine debris in the Coral Sea, ecosystem restoration at Ashmore Reef and combining Indigenous and Western knowledge of sea country.”

In addition to financial contributions, partner investments could include the use of marine vessels, the provision of scientific expertise or the delivery of project activities. 

Australia has one of the largest representative networks of marine parks anywhere in the world. The 58 Australian Marine Parks in Commonwealth waters to which this project relates cover 2.8 million sq/km. 

For more information about the Ocean Discovery and Restoration Program visit: https://parksaustralia.gov.au/marine/ODRpartnerships