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REEFSearch goes to Lady Elliot Island with AUSMEPA
Thanks to the Australian Marine Environment Protection Association (AUSMEPA) Cleveland District State High School enjoyed a week at Lady Elliot Island this month, setting up three new REEFSearch observation sites, to be visited by student teams annually. Students documented their experience and created a short video, showcasing just how easy REEFSearch is, and the benefits they received from the program. Check out our photo gallery and the video of what they got up to below!
Getting Totally Wild with REEFSearch
The REEFSearch program and our super-star students at Cleveland High School recently featured on Channel 10s Totally Wild and SCOPE. Students joined Community Engagement Officer, Jodi Salmond, for a shallow reef walk in Moreton Bay, just a hop skip and a jump from their school. Who would have thought you could have this adventure right on the doorstep of Moreton Bay?!
The REEFSearch Story
For more than a decade, Reef Check has been training experienced volunteer SCUBA divers to monitor Australian reefs using a globally standardised program. REEFSearch opens up a whole new audience to the Reef Check concept, helping to inspire more people to understand, appreciate and care for our reefs.
It all started with an idea. We wanted to open-up our programs to a much wider audience and help empower more people to engage in reef health issues and monitoring. Thus, the pilot REEFSearch program was born. In May 2011, we joined Tourism Queensland's Best Expedition in the World to launch the pilot program on beautiful Lady Elliot Island. We then spent months asking anyone and everyone to try it out and tell us what they thought: university students, international backpackers, local community members, scientists, experienced divers, first time snorkellers, school kids... REEFSearch even made it to Fiji and Indonesia. And the response was amazing. We were in awe and feeling incredibly excited to share a tool that truly seems to be welcomed and useful.
Listening to the constructive feedback from our willing REEFSearch guinea pigs, we then spent the next year incorporating community and stakeholder feedback into the program, looking for funding and building the REEFSearch program materials. After many drafts, brain-storms and cups of coffeee... We are thrilled to share the final product with the world. Please stick with us to find out how the REEFSearch story unfolds and don't forget to jump on in and give it a go!
There are a huge number of incredibly generous, supportive and helpful individuals and organisations who have helped to make REEFSearch happen. Please visit our REEFSearch Support page to find out more about them.
REEFSearch... the beginning
REEFSearch was carefully crafted through a process of expert advice, background research and community feedback. Please check out our REEFSearch Pilot study report for details about why we think REEFSearch is the way to go.