Around the Reef - Reef Check Australia - June 2021 Update

July 07, 2021

Dear Supporter

It's officially winter and the end of the financial year is fast approaching. Like many of you we are endeavouring to comply with all of our commitments before then. We just need the weather to cooperate.  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: Care for the planet!.
  • Inspire Change
  • Tax Time
  • News from the Field
  • Brain Food
  • Current Coral Affairs
  • Get With the Program

Care for the planet.

Its June already!

How did you spend your May? What intention did you set for yourself for the month, and what habits did you put in place to make sure you succeeded, and to track your progress?

As mentioned previously, we believe that in order to best protect the world around us, we first need to look after ourselves and each other. Over the past few months we have been giving you some of the tips, tricks and tools we use for actioning these ideas. With a solid understanding of how to look after ourselves, and each other, we now want to take a look at the ways we can all make that extra step towards looking after the world around us. Which leads me to this months action of the month: caring for the planet.

Let's be honest. The earth needs our help. Or more likely, we need the earths help; because it will live on well after we do. Which ever way you look at it, we believe we should do all we can to help protect the environment around us, and the critters that live amongst it. So this month we are going to look at the ways you can assist with looking after this glorious world around us. There are a million different ways that you can choose to protect our earth; lands, oceans, mountains and the like. So let's just start with the top three that we believe can make a big difference.

Donate to your favourite cause (that’s us, right?)
I know I know, another person asking you to donate. But the reality is there are thousands of not-for-profit organisations doing their very best to better understand, monitor and protect the natural environment, and they need your help. Every little bit helps, so if you can, please think about a monthly giving donation. Even a one off donation is very much appreciated! Or think outside the square and look at adopting a reef for that someone special for a truly unique gift idea, and make an ocean of difference. All donations big or small are tax deductible, and with EOFY just days away, make your dollars work towards protecting our reefs and oceans.

Volunteer your time
If you don’t have the ability to donate money at the moment, but are still keen to help out where you can, think about volunteering your time. Time is the most precious thing we all have, so how can you utilise some of yours for the betterment of yourself, others and the planet? Become a Reef Ambassador, a SCUBA surveyor, or an event volunteer. If you like to organise events, maybe you can help organise a fundraiser in your local area! We have plenty of resources to help you on your way. Head on over to our website for inspiration. Beer yoga, Gin Yoga, trivia… just some of the ideas others have come up with so far!

Take action- from wherever you are.
Back in February we asked you to take a look at your carbon footprint. To do more, we need to know more, so after better understanding how your actions impact the world around you, what changes did you, and/or can you make to minimise your impact? Can you choose green energy? Can you shop local, or say no to single use plastic? Can you eat less meat, or use public transport? Or is there something else that you have been wanting to commit to? What are the top three things that you can do or change to make the biggest impact?

Feel free to share your wins and challenges with us online; Facebook, Instagram, Linked In, or email. How will you focus on caring for the planet this month?


Inspire Change

Lynndel Oui is Ngaro Traditional Owner who, along with her daughter Milda, recently became Reef Check Australia Ambsssadors. Lynnddel & Milda joined a Reef Check Australia expedition in the Whitsundays region of the Great Barrier Reef in October 2020 learning how to care for their sea-country using citizen science methods and techniques to collect valuable data on the health of our reefs. During the trip they journeyed with some amazing people and were inspired to make a difference for the health of our Reefs.

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, Reef Check Australia, Reef Ecologic, Reef Catchments, CoralWatch.

Watch our video here

Tax Time

Want to make a tax deductible donation and help support our reefs? 


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

Palm Beach Gold Coast

An intrepid team were up before sunrise and headed south to Palm Beach. Surface conditions were amazing, with no wind and sunshine although there was still some swell around. Recent reports on visibility indicated it was patchy and we certainly encountered this. Our team braved the surge and successfully completed both surveys, recording numerous octopus, urchins, anemones and wobbegongs.

Thanks to City of Gold Coast and Gold Coast Dive Adventures for making these surveys possible.

Gold Coast Seaway

written by Cheryl Tan, RCA SCUBA Surveyor

Lovely Monday morning survey dives took place on the Gold Coast seaway. The visibility was not as great as it has been in the past, but it was enough for us to enjoy the site. A group of 5 reef check divers completed 2 surveys, one at "the pipes" and the other at the "southwest wall". All in all, we saw some cheeky cleaner shrimp, eels, schools of fish hanging around the pipes and ended our last survey with a cleanup of fishing lines and hooks that were wrapped around rocks. Over a kg of debris was removed in just one very quick clean up! It was chilly in the water but the gorgeous sun and provision of hot piping drinks after the dives were well worth the effort the team put in. Thank you for another great day in the water!

Thanks to City of Gold Coast for supporting these annual reef health surveys.

Logan Eco Action Festival

It was a beautiful sunny day for the Logan Eco Action Festival, with quite a number of people enjoying the sunshine and the many stalls supporting the environment and sustainability. The Reef Check team had a wonderful time playing guess that sea creature, draw your favourite sea creature with the young and young at heart. We also enjoyed many interesting conversations with the community on the importance of our oceans and what we all as individuals can do to help save our oceans and promoting the work that Reef Check Australia do. It was particularly nice to see the reaction of people when they saw the Flinders book and discovered that we have these beautiful reefs so close to home!

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

Great Barrier Reef

Hardy Reef - Whitsundays

Last month our GBR team had the opportunity to visit Hardy Reef in the Whitsundays for a combined survey and social trip. We conducted 8 surveys at two different sites and were treated to a drift dive back to the pontoon and the end of our big weekend of surveys. HUGE thank you to the RCA team for helping to collect  all the data and of course to Cruise Whitsundays for the support!

World Science Festival

written by Rachel King, RCA Reef Ambassador

On Friday the 7th of May Jenni, Caitlin and Rachel headed to the Museum of Tropical Queensland to represent Reef Check as ambassadors of citizen science. This day forms a part of the World Science Day celebrations, coinciding with the reopening of the Museum in Townsville. This was a great opportunity to connect with young students from local schools in the Townsville community with hands on citizen science activities and we took the opportunity to dust off our greenscreen! We transported visitors to John Brewer Reef with some fantastic reefscape backdrops supplied by the amazing photographer Matt Curnock. We also set up a mini transect with different fish, invertebrate, substrate and impacts that can be found on our surveys and encouraged students to help us conduct reef surveys using ReefSearch datasheets. Overall, a great event with lots of teachers showing interest in doing more with us in the future.

Reef Catchments Marine Classroom

Last month we were invited to spend three days and two nights at Scawfell Island out of Mackay with Reef Catchments from the Mackay-Whitsunday-Isaac region as part of their joint partnership with the Reef Assist Marine Classrooms project.

Students from Sarina SHS had an incredible opportunity to study both marine and terrestrial ecosystems in the GBR learning about reef health monitoring with Reef Check, marine debris with Tangaroa Blue and invasive weeds with Reef Catchments whilst building meaningful connection to the oceans, the group and themselves.

Brain Food

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



Underland A Deep Time Journey by Robert MacFarlane

Robert reaches back into the deep history of the planet, through the layers of rock and ancient buried objects, and forward to the future, the legacy of the anthropocene and the world we bequeath our descendants.

The Rise of Superman by Steven Kotler

Not marine based but this book explores how athletes of extreme sports achieve their goals and how their methods can be used in everyday life.

Reef Heresy by Peter Ridd

This book provides interested Australians with a scientific based account of conditions of the Reef and the information to properly understand its condition.


Current Coral Affairs

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



Check out this #kidscareaboutclimatechange drawing contest ( They plant a tree for every entry & will film a giant banner of drawings in forests around the world & hopefully showcase both at COP26.

It ends 30 June.

Don't know what to do with your old "beyond repair" wetsuit? Donate them to help out flying fox rescuers. Contact Jodi L Jones directly.

Read about this divers rare encounter with a white Grey Nurse Shark.


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. 


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