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A sea horse close to the artificial reef pods.

The Artificial Reef Project

Discover what’s living in the water around the Opera House, learn about the project to protect it and ways you can help build a more sustainable future!

The Artificial Reef

Watch to learn about the modular artificial reef installed around Bennelong Point created for a more sustainable future

The Sydney Opera House is surrounded by water; it’s kind of like the Harbour is our backyard!

Like all backyards – it’s a place that we are responsible for looking after.

But did you know 60% of Sydney’s harbour shoreline has been replaced by seawalls, resulting in small fish and animals losing their homes?

To help restore the natural beauty of our backyard, Sydney Opera House has embarked on a research project led by University of Technology Sydney Professor of Marine Ecology David Booth.

The Artificial Reef Project aims to install a modular artificial reef underwater around Bennelong Point, to help bring the fish back and create a new home for them as part of our commitment to Goal 14 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Global Goals – “Life Below Water”.

Watch videos, explore 3D models and unpack curriculum aligned teacher resources to learn about the project, life below the water and ways to protect the natural environment for a more sustainable future. 

What type of natural environment is near your home? 

What steps could you take to look after your own backyard?

Press play to watch 360 video

Underwater 360 video of the artificial reef

Download teacher resources

Stages 2, 3 & 4 

Our curriculum linked resources will help you and your class unpack the scientific research and the impact of the installation on the biodiversity in Sydney Harbor.

This project develops student’s critical and creative thinking and their personal and social capabilities as they see the positive impact of the Artificial Reef Project and consider how they can help to care for their own environment/backyard.

Fishes near the reef.
A brown octopus.

Explore 3D models

The artificial reef modules are installed around the Sydney Opera House, providing habitat for the marine life of Sydney Harbour. They are constructed of steel and concrete, creating structure for plants and animals to grow on, and enclosed spaces for mobile organisms to use as shelter or ambush sites.

A 3D model of artificial reef pod.

Modular Reef

View a computer aided design of the artificial reef. 

A 3D model of where the artificial reef pods will be placed.

Artificial Reef Pods

View a photogrammetry model to learn about the placement of the pods and see the improved habitat created by kelp growth.