Australian Marine Parks

Through the Ocean Discovery and Restoration Program, Parks Australia and the Director of National Parks are seeking to co-contribute with partners to deliver discovery and restoration projects important to science, industry, Traditional Owners, park managers and the community, to improve understanding and sustainable management of our Australian Marine Parks.

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Ocean Discovery and Restoration Program

The Australian Government has committed $15 million over 4 years for partnerships in ocean discovery and restoration.

Parks Australia is uniquely placed to enable access to some of our country’s most remote and wild island and ocean places. However, we need partners to help us realise the potential that can be made in ground-breaking conservation efforts, through support for innovation, access to research vessels, and promotion and delivery of good ideas and on-ground outcomes.

If you or your organisation are interested in partnering with the Director of National Parks under this program, please consider the guidance documents below and contact us at

The Process

Parks Australia has developed a range of documents to guide you through the process. The first document, the Partnership Call: Australian Marine Parks Ocean Discovery and Restoration Program, provides important information about the process to co-contribute (financial or in-kind) to a project with Parks Australia.

There are two key ways in which you can look to partner with the Director of National Parks under this Program.

  1. You may be interested in co-contributing to one of the identified priority proposals by the Director of National Parks; these priority proposals are referred to as Parks Proposals in the Partnership Call. Any additional Parks Proposals will be published on this website as they are agreed.
  2. Alternatively, you are invited to bring forward your own priority proposal for consideration by the Director of National Parks. Proposals bought forward by partners are referred to as Partner Proposals in the Partnership Call.

In addition to the Partnership Call, the Guide for Potential Partners when completing a Detailed Proposal and Proposal Form steps you through this process.

Organisations interested in co-contributing under this Program and have not yet submitted an application, are encouraged to contact Parks Australia via email: before submission.

Approved Projects and Funding

Parks Australia and the Director of National Parks (DNP) wish to inform the public, business entities, philanthropists, and research organisations of the opportunities provided by the Oceans Discovery and Restoration program (ODR) to protect Australia’s marine environment. The program aims to promote collaborative efforts to conserve and restore the marine biodiversity in remote and wild island and ocean places.

This Partnership Call will remain open until all program funding has been provided through a collaborative agreement; or the Director of National Parks considers that the Program Outcomes have been met; or the Program is no longer required. Interested organisations who are intending on submitting an application and are yet to do so, are encouraged to email to initiate partnering discussions.

A list of Approved Projects and the corresponding funds committed by the Director of National Parks are below.

Table of Available Funding

Partner Approval Amount contributed (includes GST)
The Minderoo Foundation Feb 2023 $3,414,400
CSIRO June 2023 $1,881,000
AIMS July 2023 $2,748,768
Offshore Biotechnologies January 2024 $2,192,700
CSIRO February 2024 $2,348,386
ETNTAC February 2024 $969,988

Esperance Tjaltjraak Native Title Aboriginal Corporation (ETNTAC) – February 2024

This is the first targeted, collaborative study of its kind under cultural leadership which aims to enhance marine park management by fostering collaboration between Traditional Owners, scientists, and park managers. The project will support the Tjaltjraak Healthy Land and Sea Program that is a strategic, holistic plan under cultural leadership – and combines Wudjari kaartdijin (knowledge) and western science to explore cultural corridors intersecting South-west Corner Marine Park and Eastern Recherche Marine Park. The project design is centred on cultural values mapping integrated with applied research and, importantly, embedded within an evolving sea country cultural ranger program. Research on the connection of heritage from Land to Sea Country - through understanding the processes of climate change and adaptation that have led to the formation of our marine landforms and biodiversity - will enhance Parks Australia’s understanding of the interaction between cultural landscapes and marine biodiversity in Australian Marine Parks.

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) – February 2024

Ashmore Reef Marine Park is one of Australia’s important hotspots of marine and terrestrial biodiversity, is globally recognised under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance for its crucial seabird and turtle nesting habitats, and as a migratory bird flyway. This project will aim to mitigate mounting threats from introduced species, reverse the decline in ecosystem health, and help to protect and restore native biodiversity on Ashmore’s terrestrial ecosystems by using novel and innovative techniques to eradicate high-risk invaders. The partnership will apply ecosystem-level thinking about how to mitigate unintended negative consequences of management actions on native species to ensure long term stability and resilience for the terrestrial ecosystems of the Ashmore Reef Marine Park.

Offshore Biotechnologies - January 2024

This project will develop an approach for the restoration and enhancement of temperate mesophotic reef ecosystems. This first-of-its kind project will advance new methods for restoring and enhancing mesophotic communities, within the Apollo Marine Park. It will demonstrate approaches to rehabilitating disturbed seabed areas and create innovative approaches to establishing nature-positive solutions within the offshore marine environment. In doing so, it will inform policy and management activities for supporting marine environments as ecosystem changes and emerging pressures necessitate new management options.

The Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) - July 2023

This project will utilise the ongoing research conducted in the Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program (RRAP) and the Australian Coral Reef Resilience Initiative (ACRRI) to benefit Australian Marine Parks. The project aims to promote innovative approaches to problem solving and access complementary resources and expertise to build resilience in Australia’s iconic offshore reefs.

Oceanic reefs have high levels of coral biodiversity and unique genetic diversity but are more susceptible to biodiversity loss and degradation due to their isolation and varying levels of resilience to climate change. The high-quality project outcomes will have broader applications and can be utilised by governments, industry, and research sectors to support informed marine management decisions.

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) - June 2023

This project will provide Parks Australia with a powerful means to harness cutting-edge monitoring technologies, facilitating the description, management, and conservation of species and habitats across Australia’s 60 marine parks, and beyond.

This ground-breaking initiative will facilitate the creation of high-quality and compatible survey findings that can be utilised by the government, industry, and research sectors, supporting informed management decisions in Australian marine parks. The introduction of eDNA-based biomonitoring will lead to comprehensive inventories of marine invertebrates, macroalgae and seagrasses, park biodiversity, including threatened and invasive species. This fast, standardised, and cost-effective monitoring approach is crucial for effectively managing these vast, diverse, and internationally significant Marine Parks.

The Minderoo Foundation - February 2023

The Minderoo Foundation will develop and implement genomic tools that enable rapid collection and processing of data on marine biodiversity. This will involve the deployment of eDNA technologies to characterise the biodiversity and species distribution in the north-west, south-west, and Indian Ocean Territory marine park networks. The project aims to provide data to identify the distribution of genetic diversity, species health, vulnerable ecosystems, and invasive species. It will also serve as a ‘proof of concept’ that eDNA can be a cost-effective way to monitor biodiversity in Australia’s large and remote marine parks, as compared to other marine sampling techniques.