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Reef Check on the GBR
The Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest coral reef system composed of over 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands stretching for over 2,600 kilometres (1,600 mi) over an area of approximately 344,400 square kilometres (133,000 sq mi). The reef is located in the Coral Sea, off the coast of Queensland from the top of Cape York south to Lady Elliot Island (just north of mainland Bundaberg). A majority of the reef is protected by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) which manages the reef for multiple uses (fishing, diving, recreational boating, etc). The Reef was selected as a World Heritage Site in 1981 and is considered one of the seven natural wonders of the world.
Reef Check monitors 25 sites which are located in 4 main regions of the coast of Queensland - Cairns/Port Douglas, Townsville, the Whitsunday Islands and the Southern GBR (Heron Island).
Reef Ambassador course in Townsville
March 2017 we ran our first Reef Ambassador workshop in Townsville, on the Great Barrier Reef. We are inspired by the amazing, dedicated individuals who joined us for this opportunity, and we are excited by their passion to share their knowledge with the wider community.
Huge thanks to all of the participants and to our amazing speakers who donated their time to share their wealth of knowledge and inspire more good work.
Stay tuned as our Ambassadors get out in the world making ripples for change. We'll continue developing this program so get in touch if you are keen to get involved.
This pilot project is supported through funding from Townsville City Council. Big thanks to Reef HQ Great Barrier Reef Aquarium for their support and also to speakers from Reef Check Australia, CoralWatch, Reef Ecologic, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and Townsville City Council.
Reef Check's regional history
The Great Barrier Reef Project has been running since 2001 and involves long-term monitoring of more than 25 key dive sites on the Great Barrier Reef. From 2011-2013, we expanded our monitoring locations to encompass the southern section of the Great Barrier Reef, including Heron Island and Lady Elliot Island.
This is our flagship project. Reef Check Australia began when a small group of marine biologists and dive tourism professionals got together to devise a program that engages the general public in monitoring key dive sites on the Great Barrier Reef. The project grew from a masters project run out of internet cafes in Port Douglas to an award-winning project with more than a decade of data on key reef tourism locations.
Key news stories
- Reef Check on Heron Island with UQ (Nov 2013)
- Cleaning up Woody Island (Aug 2013)
- Reef Check monitors Lady Elliot Island (Feb 2013)
- Reef Check and the Best Expedition in the World (2011)
You can get involved too! Learn, explore, appreciate and protect the unique reefs on your doorstep.
- Be a REEFSearcher
- Check out our GBR poster
- Read our reports
- Follow us on Facebook or Instagram
- Become a surveyor (Feb-May annually)
- Volunteer or help at events
- Donate to support our programs
Our 2016-17 program is supported through the Together Townsville Program with Townsville City Council and Townsville Airport, the Gladstone Ports Corporation's Community Investment Program, and Reef Catchments.