Heart Reef, Australia’s symbol of enduring love
Heart Reef is one of Nature’s wonders, a truly extraordinary feature and the only one of its kind in the world, a coral reef which has formed into the shape of a heart.
Measuring just 17 meters in length, Heart Reef is tiny. She sits in the Great Barrier Reef which itself is 2,300km long, almost as long as America! It’s no wonder Heart Reef was only discovered in 1975 - by a seaplane taking guests on a sightseeing tour over the coast of Queensland.
Heart Reef is a ‘bommie’, a phenomenon that occurs where a coral outcrop grows higher than its surroundings forming an island of coral which breaks the surface at low tide - hence why Heart Reef is sometimes called Heart Island.
Heart Reef lives, each strand of coral is a tiny polyp who with their neighbors make up a reef which they call home.
When you look at a reef it’s too easy to think you are looking at a beautiful garden full of plants. You are not. You are looking at a community of tiny incredibly beautiful animals.
To create this awesome spectacle, these polyps have been busy building their community for over 200 million years making Heart Reef a symbol of enduring love!
Today, that love affair is threatened. Global warming is heating the seas, especially since the turn of the century since when there has been a series of ‘mass bleaching events’ – a bleaching event occurs when the sea gets so hot it bleaches the coral, turning it white as the polyps die off.
Studies show that over half of the Great Barrier Reef is now bleached with the survival smaller communities like Heart Reef at great risk. These communities try to make a comeback after each bleaching attack, but they are fighting a losing the battle.
If temperatures keep rising, these communities won’t survive. It’s extremely unlikely Heart Reef survive the next 100 years having lived through the last 200 million.
To bring attention to the plight of Heart Reef which is one of almost a thousand reefs and islands on the Great Barrier Reef we have created a charm in its name and image. Every charm plants 10 trees.
Your trees absorb carbon from the air, the single greatest contributor to global warming. We just need an awful lot of them!