Winter already! And is this rain ever going to stop? Despite the challenges we have managed to get in a couple of surveys and cleanups along with some further fundraising.
This months email includes:
- Action of the Month: Celebrate the World Around Us
- News from the Field
- Brain Food
- Current Coral Affairs
- Get With the Program
Celebrate the World Around Us
As the end of the financial year fast approaches and everything speeds up, we want to give everyone a simple reminder to slow down and celebrate the world around you. So this month, make sure to take some time out amongst the craziness! Stand in the sun, walk barefoot, hug a tree, or adopt a reef! Enjoy the magic of the world around you, and celebrate it!
This month brings with it World Oceans Day and World Environment Day. How will you celebrate the world above and below the water? Maybe you have been planning an adventure, but for one reason or another it keeps getting bumped due to the busy-ness of life? Well, this is the sign you are looking for; the push, the gentle nudge towards a nature-based adventure, to immersing yourself in the natural world and to give back to the mother earth that has gifted us all so much.
And as the Financial year comes to a close, and the rush to the shops to buy anything and everything at ‘rock bottom prices’ we want to challenge you to stop and think about your purchase before you make it. And if you do have the ability to donate to your favourite cause (that’s us, right?) please do. Every little bit helps; a one off donation, or monthly giving. Or for a truly unique offer… adopt a reef 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.
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 Seaway Clean Up
A small but dedicated team conducted 2 cleanups within the Gold Coast Seaway and were astounded by the amount of fishing line retrieved, considering a large scale clean up had recently taken place. Unfortunately the popularity of this area means it will be an ongoing issue but the area is there for all to share, whatever your hobby. The good news is that there was very little other debris.
Gold Coast Seaway Surveys
Our team took advantage of favourable condition reports and headed to the seaway to conduct our annual surveys. We were pleasantly surprised by the conditions, however noted that sessile life on the benthos was largely missing, with very few hydroids, sponges or soft corals observed. The fish life however still appeared as abundant as usual with lots of Luderick, Silver Bream, Sweetlips, small Lionfish and moray eels observed.
These surveys are made possible by the support of City of Gold Coast.
Your Mates Brewing Fundraiser
We were super happy to have another fundraising raffle at the amazing Your Mates Brewery and the atmosphere was really pumping, so many people, so much noise and oh so many raffle tickets sold. 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.
Our team attended the Nurture Festival on Lake Kawana during May and had an awesome time communicating the importance of looking after our reefs and what a big difference small changes in your habits can make.
Great Barrier Reef
The nearshore reefs of the Whitsunday Islands on Ngaro country in the Great Barrier Reef are home to some really amazing reefs, and a number of Reefs that are still feeling the effects of ex-tropical cyclone Debbie five years ago.
We have been conducting Reef Check surveys in this region going back over 20 years. This long-term dataset is really important for highlighting trends and changes in the reef. Our team of Reef Check surveyors took to the waters of Hook Island at a place called Luncheon Bay to undertake an ecological survey of the reef. 100 metre transect line is placed along the bottom and Divers count fish, invertebrates, and measure what is on the bottom to get a sense of the ecological health of the reef. We also measure any Impacts such as coral bleaching or disease or any outbreaks of predators such as crown of thorns starfish.
We had a great day as far as the weather was concerned. It was flat and calm and visibility was very good. Over the five years since the cyclone, recovery on these reefs has been very slow. But one of the good things that we noticed during our survey was the prominence of many coral recruits, and signs that, albeit slowly, the reef is starting to recover. The slow recovery might be a sign of the higher sedimentation of nearshore reefs, but it also might be something akin to a new normal where successive warm summers and regular stressors mean that the recovery trajectory is not as rapid as we would like.
A big thank you to the Reef Check surveyors Laura Oates, Meg Vassie, Ben Corbishley, and Reef Check Australia team leader Nathan Cook that helped for this event.
Reef Check acknowledges 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.
Reviews and details on books, documentaries, and podcasts that we have come across, & wanted to share.
‘Dark Emu injects a profound authenticity into the conversation about how we Australians understand our continent ... [It is] essential reading for anyone who wants to understand what Australia once was, or what it might yet be if we heed the lessons of long and sophisticated human occupation.’ Judges for 2016 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards (taken from Booktopia)
Current Coral Affairs
Check out some of the latest news and research about our ocean
Broome surfer Josh Cocking was pulling on his rash vest and about to hit the water when he felt a nasty sting.
Read in: ABC News
Did you know sponges can bleach as well?
Robots have shown scientists the deep shelf reefs off Tasmania — and what was found has disturbed experts.
A study by the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) has found bleaching in sea sponges for the first time in Tasmanian waters— and scientists fear it could be another sign we are reaching a "tipping point" in the warming of the Earth.
Read now in ABC News
Get with the Program
Here's what we've got coming up in the next few weeks, keep checking the website for more updates.
Sunday 5 June | LEAF
Come along and say hello to our team at the Logan Eco Action Festival
Tuesday 14 June | Coast to Corals
This month Jordan Ivey will be talking about the efforts being made to restore coral reefs. Head on over to our website to register so that you get the zoom link.
Sunday June 12 | 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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