Around the Reef - Reef Check Australia - July 2021 Update

July 07, 2021

Dear Supporter

We hope this email finds you all well and staying warm. Whilst the weather has continued to make in-water activities difficult we have been busy with events spreading knowledge on how people can make a positive impact even with a minor behaviour change.  Which is rather relevant as we head into Plastic Free July. Take a read to see what we have been up to recently and what is coming up soon for Reef Check Australia.

This months email includes:

  • Action of the Month: Plastic free July!.
  • Inspire Change - Amber Moran
  • Tax Time
  • News from the Field
  • Brain Food
  • Current Coral Affairs
  • Get With the Program

Plastic Free July.


Image sourced from Abode of Chaos

Plastic Free July; how can you minimise your plastic addiction?

Welcome to July! 6 months into the year, that means it's time to check in; how are you all doing? What has been working for you this year, and what have you been working on to change?

We have been working hard cleaning up our waterways as we conduct annual reef health surveys, and we can't help but notice the sheer amount of plastic we find both above, and below the surface of the water.

Our General Manager was lucky enough to be a part of the Exxpedition recently; a team of women sailing (currently sailing virtually) around the world, visiting the 5 gyres, and documenting marine debris as well as working on strategies to actively reduce our plastic addiction, clean up our oceans, and create innovative ways to move towards a circular economy.

It has been fascinating. Did you know that the number one contributor of plastic micro-particles in the ocean can be attributed to washing our clothes? Every time we wash our clothes, additional micro-particles are washed down the drain, resulting in trillions of tiny particles making their way into our waterways and oceans, into our marine life and eventually back into our own bodies. Wow! Scary, right!

We have all heard the slogans; there is no such thing as away: when we throw something out, it has to go somewhere. So with this in mind, and following on from last months action to care for our planet, we are challenging ourselves, and you in this months action of the month: join plastic free July, and see how many ways you can switch our collective plastic addiction. How many days can you go without using any form of single use plastic. It's tougher than you think.

For some hot tips and tricks on some of the best products we have found, check out our FB, Instagram, and Linked-in pages. We will be sharing our hottest tips and tricks from all our volunteers, partners and staff so we can all learn from the wins and losses to make the best choices possible. Have your own tips, tricks, wins or challenges you want to share? Please do! And remember to tag us @reefcheckaustralia so we can share your tips with everyone else.

Happy exploring, and good luck!

Inspire Change

Amber Moran is a CoralWatch ambassador and now Reef Check surveyor. Amber had been wanting to join the RCA team for so long!!! Amber is self-confessed Reef Check tragic with some great friends who are ambassadors and surveyors. I really wanted to take my surveying skills to the next level and join my friends on upcoming RCA surveys.

Here Amber recounts some of her training adventures and shows us how we can all inspire change today. 

The Reef Check Australia Whitsundays Citizen Science Project is funded by the partnership between the Australian Government’s Reef Trust and the Great Barrier Reef Foundation
@reefcheckaustralia @reefecologic @reefcatchments


Tax Time

End of the financial year it almost here.Want to make a tax deductible donation and help support our reefs? You can adopt a reef or make a one off or recurring donation via our website . Our reefs will thank you!


News from the field

Stories and updates from our teams out & about. Check out some of these regional stories on our website!

South East Queensland

Gold Coast Green Week

Our team of ambassadors participated in a number of events to support the Gold Coast Green Week during June.

Ambassador Gina Broadbent gave an online presentation on the Gold Coast reefs, including their health and what we regularly see at these reefs. If you missed this presentation it is available on our You Tube channel at this link. What Lies beneath

Meanwhile ambassador Susy James hosted an online Beeswax Wraps session, showing how easy it is to make your own reusable wraps and ditch the single use plastic wrap. We even had participants from South Africa - how good it is that! Missed the event? Watch it now.

Thanks to City of Gold Coast for helping support these events.

UQ Winter Roadshow Redcliffe

Sunday 20th June at Sutton’s Beach Redcliffe turned on the sunshine and low winds for a perfect winter’s day. Corinna, Krystal and Colin joined the UQ Marine Society and wooed the crowd to have their photos taken in front of the Green Screen with their favourite “Speech Bubble” Low tide made the UQ guided tours during the event all the more interesting by seeing recent lava formations with attached live oysters, & recent existence of sting ray sand pits – in all, an interesting tour of the ecology of the beach intertidal zone, not to be missed. 

Thank you to Port of Brisbane for supporting our Reef Ambassadors and community outreach in the region.


Great Barrier Reef

Sharing knowledge with local Ngaro Traditional Owners

As part of the Reef Check Australia citizen science project in the Whitsundays, we are working with Traditional Owners to share knowledge and support their desire to enhance their capacity to care for country. Reef Check Australia coordinators Nathan Cook and Jenni Calcraft met with Ngaro Traditional Owners Peter Pryor and Merv Pryor to discuss ways to improve knowledge exchange about Indigenous culture surrounding the Great Barrier Reef. It was great to sit in the park at Riverway today and be inspired by Peter and Merv, their love for country, knowledge, respect and sharing.

In the coming weeks we will be developing some communications products that will hopefully help share knowledge about the cultural history of the Ngaro people of the Whitsundays.

The Reef Check Australia Whitsundays Citizen Science Project is funded by the partnership between the Australian Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment’s Reef Trust and the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, supported by Reef Check Australia ,Reef Ecologic Reef Catchments, and CoralWatch.


Brain Food

Reviews and details on books, documentaries, and podcasts that we have come across, & wanted to share.



Coral Finder 2021 by Russell Kelley

This is the newest version of Russell's awesome Coral Finder for Indo Pacific Corals. It takes you step by step through identifying your coral.  There are also associated online learning videos to help you navigate your way through identifying corals.

Leading without authority by Keith Ferrazzi

In this book Keith reveals how you can get people around you to cooperate and collaborate, even if you are not their supervisor or boss. 

Life Lessons from the Ocean by Richard Harrington

Richard explores how we can learn from the ocean in order to manage our everyday lives.



In this amazing podcast, Simon Pierce, Whale Shark Conservation Biologist talks about how he grew to love and study whalesharks and the amazing work he is doing for their conservation. 

Current Coral Affairs

Check out some of the latest news and research about our ocean and waste reduction innovations:

Looking for unique Homewares made from recycled materials? Checkout this site:

Homewares, Handmade and Recycled by MAB


Another paper published on the 20 years of annual Heron benthic surveys and still going.

Title: Fine-scale time series surveys reveal new insights into spatiotemporal trends in coral cover (2002–2018), of a coral reef on the Southern Great Barrier Reef.
Link: Report

It follows the just recently published data paper:
Title: Benthic and coral reef community field data for Heron Reef, Southern Great Barrier Reef, Australia, 2002–2018
Journal: Nature and Scientific data
Authors: Chris Roelfsema, Eva M. Kovacs, Kathryn Markey, Julie Vercelloni, Alberto Rodriguez-Ramirez, Sebastian Lopez-Marcano, Manuel Gonzalez-Rivero, Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, & Stuart R. Phinn
Link: Report


Get with the Program

Here's what we've got coming up in the next few weeks, keep checking the website for more updates. 


If you missed our recent Coast to Coral online event, remember you can always catch-up by taking a look at our YouTube Channel here  



Thanks for reading! If you want to help our work to empower more people to protect Australian reefs, please consider making a monthly tax-deductible donation. 



Copyright © 2021 Reef Check Australia, All rights reserved.
You have received this newsletter because you have given Reef Check Australia your email address. If you would prefer not to receive any further emails, please click the unsubscribe link in your email.

Our mailing address is:

Reef Check Australia
1/377 Montague Rd
West End, QLD 4101




Share Tweet