Around the Reef - Reef Check Australia - July 2022

September 05, 2022

Dear {{recipient.first_name_or_friend}} 

The winter chill is in the air but we are hoping that it brings sunny days, light winds and calm seas. We have so much going on with cleanups and surveys and our teams have also been out and about attending events.

This months email includes:

  • Action of the Month: Plastic Free July
  • News from the Field
  • Brain Food
  • Current Coral Affairs
  • Get With the Program

Plastic Free July 

I know we are constantly promoting the idea of refuse, reduce, reuse and recycle, but this month we can all join in this global movement.

There are so many options now from reusable bags, keep cups (including larger cups for your smoothies), metal straws, bamboo cutlery, kits containing everything you need that can be carried in your bag, that there are no excuses for using disposable items. It is still  frustrating that some food retailers refuse to fill your keep cup citing non-existent rules. In these cases, do as we do, talk with your feet and refuse to patronise their establishment. Even better, also write them an email explaining why they CAN fill your cup and ask them to update their rules.

During our clean up activities we are still collecting so much plastic waste, mostly remnants from larger items.  Fortunately the introduction of the 10c refund scheme has reduced the number of plastic bottles being collected. We can all make a difference by ensuring that when it is unavoidable to purchase items in plastic that the plastic is properly disposed of in our recycling bins. Better still, try to find suppliers that don't use plastic: use mesh bags for your fruit and veggies; buy your bread from a baker who puts it in a paper bag or your container; get your butcher to put the meat in your container; the list goes on.

Whilst it may seem like a daunting task to completely remove plastic from our lives, remember that every small action that you take can have a big impact on our environment. 

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

Coolum Beach Clean Up

Speaking of plastic remnants, a team of amazing volunteers scoured the beaches at Coolum and removed an astounding amount of plastic pieces. These also included tile spacers (how do these end up in the ocean?) and lollypop and cotton bud sticks.

LEAF Festival

On Sunday 5 June, Reef Check attended the annual Logan Eco Action Festival. Attracting huge crowds, the festival celebrated our environment while educating individuals how we can all make more sustainable choices in our everyday lives. The festival was a great opportunity to showcase the work of our incredible volunteers, engage with the community about the coral reefs of Moreton Bay and highlight how small choices can have a big impact on the health of our reef.  A big shout out to our amazing volunteers Adrienne Soteriou and Colin Scobie for attending this event.

Our participation at this event is made possible by support from the Port of Brisbane. 

Your Mates Brewing Fundraiser

A group of volunteers helped out with another fundraising raffle at the amazing Your Mates Brewery. Big congratulations to our winners and a BIG thanks to Your Mates Brewery for making these events possible. Not only does it raise some funds but it also helps us spread the word on how amazing our reefs are and what people can do to help protect them. 

Great Barrier Reef

Luncheon Bay Clean Up

On a beautiful Saturday, Reef Check Australia headed out to Ngaro country in the Whitsundays region of the Great Barrier Reef. With 21 passionate and enthusiastic people on board we headed to the northern beaches of Hook Island to undertake marine debris cleanup as part of Tangaroa Blue‘s reef clean event.

Being a north facing beach in Luncheon Bay, there wasn’t a great deal of visible rubbish that could be seen on arrival. But as is often the case when you look a bit closer there are lots of small bits of debris found amongst the coral rubble and sand and blown up into the trees that back onto the beach. At the same time the dive team hit the water to see what they could find sunken in the reefs of Luncheon Bay. There was a bit of a current which made the dive a little more challenging than usual and thankfully the divers did not find a lot of rubbish under the water. A little bit of fishing line and a broken mooring line tag were the only things that were found.

All in all there wasn’t a lot of rubbish which is to be expected in the northern bays of these islands. But the project is part of a longer term Reef wide monitoring effort. All of the data ends up in the Australian Marine Debris Initiative database (AMDI). This database provides important information about what rubbish is being found where and allows researchers and manages the opportunity to look at source reduction programs to prevent rubbish like this reaching the marine environment in the first place. A big thanks to everybody who donated time on their Saturday to come and not only enjoy the magic of the Great Barrier Reef but also help us make a difference for our marine environment.

The @reefclean project is funded by the Australian Government’s Reef Trust and delivered by @tangaroablue Foundation and a number of partner organisations including Reef Check Australia.

Reef Check Acknowledge the Ngaro people of the Whitsundays as the Traditional Owners of the land and sea country where these activities took place and we pay our respects to their elders past, present and emerging.

Low Isles Clean Up

Team @reefcheckaustralia visited Low Isles just 15km off the coast of Port Douglas recently to do our annual underwater clean up as part of @tangaroablue's #reefclean project. The most interesting find during this cleanup was a broom. Our diver, Shari, tested it's flying capabilities out underwater but concluded it was too waterlogged!

The @reefclean project is funded by the Australian Government’s Reef Trust and delivered by @tangaroablue Foundation and a number of partner organisations including Reef Check Australia. Thank you also to the Quicksilver crew for hosting and taking such good care of our team on their sailing catamaran, Wavedancer and our team of dedicated volunteers without which these trips would not be possible.

Brain Food

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


On Eating Meat by Matthew Evans

This book is an interesting read that provides information and a balanced view on the ethics and economics of how societies produce and eat animal products on a small and large scale. The author is a food critic/chef turned small scale farmer/restauranteur and provides food for thought for vegans, vegetarians and carnivores alike.

Current Coral Affairs

Check out some of the latest news and research about our ocean

Mystery condition eating turtle shells
A mystery disease eating away at green sea turtle shells has been discovered by researchers on Queensland's Fraser Coast.

Read in: ABC News

Plastic found inside people

Another good reason to ditch the plastic; Plastic has been discovered in the lungs of living people. Read more in the Guardian


Get with the Program

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

Tuesday 12 July | Coast to Corals

This month Melissa Staines will be talking about the effects of temperature on the sex of turtle hatchlings. Head on over to our website to register so that you get the zoom link.

Sunday July 24| Sundays with Your Mates

Our friends at Your Mates Brewery are running Sundays with Your Mates. Come along for some great food (who doesn't love a chicken snitty), tasty beverages, awesome local tunes and pick up a raffle ticket to win some great prizes and support Reef Check.


If you missed any of our Coast to Coral online events, 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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