A project to map the nearshore marine habitats around Norfolk Island under the Commonwealth’s Our Marine Parks – Round 2 Community Grants program has been completed. The on-Island project team comprised Margaret Christian, Rob Ryan and Mitchell Graham with external support and project management provided by Dr Kellie (Lorking) Pendoley of Pendoley Environmental PL (Perth). The initial phase of the project produced high-level habitat maps from satellite imagery, merged with high quality LIDAR mapping data (completed in 2021). These drafts were ground-truthed in 2022 and amended in accordance with feedback from the community.
Norfolk Island’s Reef
Norfolk Island identity Susan Prior has created a magnificent and comprehensive pictorial guide to the marine world of the Island. See her website Norfolk Island’s Reef.
A significant modern reference is Norfolk Island Lagoonal Reef Ecosystem Health Assessment 2020-2021, by the University of New South Wales, the Sydney Institute of Marine Science, James Cook University and the University of Newcastle.
“The Temperate East Marine Park Network, managed by Parks Australia, incorporates the coral reefs and coral reef lagoons of Norfolk Island. The most accessible reef within the Norfolk Island coral reef ecosystem includes the Emily Bay and Slaughter Bay lagoonal reef, and neighbouring Cemetery Bay lagoonal reef, both of which adjoin the Kingston lowland catchment and world heritage listed Kingston and Arthur’s Vale historic sites.
“During 2020 unusually high sea surface temperatures extended across the Southern Hemisphere, including the Great Barrier Reef, the Coral Sea and the reef habitats of Norfolk Island. This event resulted in extensive coral bleaching within the lagoonal reefs of Norfolk Island including Emily Bay and Slaughter Bay.”