Turtle Reef is a terracing algal reef with open patches of sand and permanent pools of salt water. Named for its abundance of turtles, Turtle Reef is one of the largest reefs on the Kimberley coast, joining Molema Island to the mainland.
Covering a massive area, Turtle Reef is rich in marine life, with an abundance of corals including gorgonian fans, bryozoans, sponges, clam, rhodoliths, small mussels, octopi, crustaceans, crocodiles, sharks and tropical fish. There are several deep blue holes in the reef which are landlocked once the tide recedes. These blue holes are rich in fish life. Turtle Reef has recently received recognition in the marine science community with the publication of a new paper by Dr Barry Wilson on the mechanism by which its corals cope with unusual turbidity .
The water is very far from clear and oceanic—it’s turbid and the light doesn’t penetrate far. It’s not the sort of environment [conventional] corals require, yet we’ve got this prolific growth of corals.
Dr Barry Wilson 2011