Heron Island is a coral cay located on the southern section of the Great Barrier Reef, approximately 80km off the coast of Gladstone, Queensland. The island hosts the Heron Island Resort and the University of Queensland’s Research Station (HIRS).
The fringing reefs are well-utilised for snorkel and diving tourism as well as reef research. These activities may be having some unintended impacts. Factors such as extensive development in the nearby Gladstone region and, similar to other coral reefs, global climate change, also pose threats to this marine ecosystem. While there is extensive research undertaken at Heron Island, there are relatively few long-term monitoring projects.