The Coral Reef

Extensive coral communities in the form of fringing reefs dominate the 7 km long Marine Park coast-line, from the Marine Science Station to the Public Security Officers’ Club. Over 300 species of hard and soft coral have been noted. The distribution of the reefs is discontinuous due to embayment’s, which are the outlets of dried river beds which form drowned canyons seaward.

The typical reef structure within the park is composed of the reef flat (shallow coral plateau often exposed at low tides), which is often separated from the shore line by a shallow sandy lagoon. The back reef is the back step leading from the shallow lagoon to the reef flat, while the seaward edge of the reef is called the reef crest. The reef face is the steep drop-off from the reef crest on the seaward side. The fore-reef extends from the reef-face and slopes seaward.