Australian Marine Parks

Thursday 2 February 2023

Cocos (Keeling) Islands atoll

Seventeen marine park grant projects worth over $3 million will support the recently proclaimed Christmas Island and Cocos (Keeling) Islands marine parks. 

The projects will protect, study, manage and promote the new marine parks in Australia’s Indian Ocean Territories, and support and engage local communities to do this.   

The new marine parks around Christmas and Cocos (Keeling) Islands protect 744,070 square kilometres of unique and internationally significant marine habitats and species. 

Coral reefs, seagrass, seamounts, deep sea plains and ridges, oceanic waters and species found nowhere else on earth make up the new Indian Ocean Territory marine parks, which combined are twice the size of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.  

The newly funded grants projects include: 

  • Supporting the Christmas Island community to protect the iconic red crabs during their annual breeding migration 
  • Monitoring and removing marine debris to help conserve the values of the marine parks 
  • Restoring seagrass habitats to provide an ecosystem nursery for fish and other species  
  • Surveying resident foraging sea turtles, their habitats, diet and movements, with a focus on green turtles 
  • Researching and monitoring coral reef health and diversity, including comparing them with the diversity of reef species from other locations.  

The newly funded projects will commence in 2023 and finish by mid-2025. A full list of successful projects is available at: