Produced by Lana Miller, Laura Broad, and Mary-Kate Hannagan
The Gold Coast’s newest tourist attraction, the Wonder Reef, was officially opened earlier last month, with an underwater ribbon cutting by Mayor Tom Tate and Deputy Premier Steven Miles.
The reef is located approximately 2.5 kilometres offshore from Philip Park at The Spit and is said to provide a unique and exciting diving experience for divers at all levels.
The five-million-dollar dive attraction was designed to diversify the city’s tourism industry, collating a vision of art, science and engineering. The wonder reef has already become home to hundreds of different marine life species.
As Australia’s natural reefs continue to deteriorate at the hands of climate change, journalism students Lana Miller, Laura Broad, and Mary-Kate Hannagan were interested to find out more about the complexities of artificial reefs and their effects on marine life and existing ecosystems.
The students spoke to marine scientists Dr Tim Stevens and Dr Leo Guida, as well as seasoned local fisherman Jase Patane, to explore eco-tourism, artificial reefs and how we can mitigate their possible impacts on the local environment.