Around the Reef - Reef Check Australia - May 2022

September 05, 2022

Dear {{recipient.first_name_or_friend}} 

It's autumn already and the weather is starting to cool down. We have been out and about doing clean ups (above and below water), hosting stalls, getting in a couple of surveys and doing some fundraising.

This months email includes:

  • Action of the Month: Mindful in May
  • News from the Field
  • Brain Food
  • Current Coral Affairs
  • Get With the Program

Mindful in May 

Friday, May 20th is World Meditation day.

The tiny but mighty team at Reef Check Australia believe in each and every one of you, and that together we can and will make a difference for ourselves, each other and the planet. We want to support every individual to become their very best selves. That's why the action of this month is all about mindfulness and meditation.

Put simply, mindfulness is the practice of being present. It means sitting in and being aware of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment. It involves acceptance; paying attention to our thoughts and feelings without judging them—without believing, for instance, that there’s a “right” or “wrong” way to think or feel in a given moment. When we practice mindfulness, our thoughts tune into what we’re sensing in the present moment rather than rehashing the past or imagining the future.

One way to practice mindfulness is through meditation. Just ten minutes a day can help you offset the impact our technology-driven culture has on our emotional and physical well-being, allowing more relaxation and calm (and less anxiety). Meditation can also be done anywhere, anytime, and needs no equipment.

There are plenty of meditation apps out there, including Omvana and Headspace . Or, check out Youtube for one that suits you.

World Meditation Day is on May 20th, 2022. Its a call to the world to take time to participate in this millennia-old practice and clear our minds, remembering that we are people first, and workers second.

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

Castaways Clean Up

Reef Check Australia joined local community group representatives, locals, and passers-by in late March for an early morning start in an effort to tackle the ongoing marine debris issue, weeks after flooding events sent hundreds of pontoons and other debris out into the ocean, and north onto beaches.
Ten volunteers over the span of four hours removed 210kg of polystyrene and concrete found along the beach at Castaways, within the Noosa Regional Council region. The site was selected after feedback from locals walking the beaches every day noticed a large amount of polystyrene accumulating on their beloved beach.

Bucket after bucket was filled as volunteers sifted sand, chased waves to remove polystyrene as it washed out to sea, and walked the high tide line to remove each and every bit they could find. Dog walkers returned to our main site with bags filled, making use of the walk to also collect debris along the way. With this huge community support, huge amounts of debris was removed from the beach.

Then a few days later, building on the weeks mammoth clean up efforts in the region, Reef Check Australia once again joined local community group representatives, locals, and a myriad of volunteers in an attempt to tackle the ongoing marine debris issue in the region.

13 volunteers over two days worked tirelessly to remove polystyrene pieces along the length of Castaways beach, and along and up to the closest creek. Polystyrene was found along the high tide mark, caught amongst the grass of the dunes, and floating in amongst the pumice stone, making the task harder for volunteers as they sifted and sorted to remove two bags of polystyrene over the course of the two days. Much less in weight than removed the days prior, however no less important, as these small fragments break up into smaller and smaller pieces, becoming a serious ingestion issue for animals.

This project has received funding support from the Queensland Government’s Community Sustainability Action grant program.


Clean Up Bulcock Beach

Although the visibility was still not amazing, our team was keen to find out how this popular angling location was holding up following the recent intense rainfall and localised flooding. Fishing line dominated the haul again with approximately 500m of fishing line removed, along with a complete rod and reel set up. Fortunately, the amount of general litter was low, although a large stainless-steel table, shopping trolley and A frame sign were observed. These items were too large for our divers to remove and have been left in-situ and reported to local Council. A thick layer of silt covered the substrate and it may be that more items are found once the silt layer disperses.

This project has received funding support from the Queensland Government’s Community Sustainability Action grant program.

Main Beach and Amity Point Clean Up and Survey

The team took our chances with the weather and kept our fingers crossed that the visibility at Amity Point would be good. Arriving onto Stradbroke Island early we had time to undertake a clean up on Main Beach, and so glad we did. There was so much hard plastic. We had just over an hour but only covered 100m of beach and collected 1226 pieces of hard plastic, along with other bits and pieces including polystyrene, bottle tops, confectionery sticks and cigarette butts.

Underwater at Amity Point, fishing line still dominates, with much of it tangled around the corals and sponges, making extraction time consuming. It was great to see lots of urchins, healthy corals, lots of fish and big wobbegong sharks all thriving despite the recent floods. Two of our team had never dived at Amity Point before and were amazed at the diversity of marine life.

This project has received funding support from the Queensland Government’s Community Sustainability Action grant program.


Underwater Clean Up - Outrigger Club

Another day, another clean up. With visibility not so amazing, a small team braved the conditions in the Pumicestone Passage at Caloundra. The site contains an incredible amount of glass bottles, however many of them are currently home to marine organisms which are having a tough time finding a solid substate to cling to. The site is very heavily silted at the moment, with the opening of the new bar appearing to have impacted the current flows in this area. The team did however collect a large number of glass bottles with no organisms growing on them, along with hundreds of metres of fishing line.

This project has received funding support from the Queensland Government’s Community Sustainability Action grant program.

Survey Dive - Inner Gneerings

On a day when we wished the weather had read the forecast, we headed out to the Inner Gneerings in an attempt to finally get some surveys done. After enduring lumpy surface conditions the team descended into green water, but at least it was nicer down there than up on the surface. It was lovely to see that the corals were largely healthy, with only some minor disease and the site was free from asparagopsis. Unfortunately surface conditions worsened and we were forced back to port after only one dive.

These surveys are made possible thanks to the Sunshine Coast Council Environment Levy Grant.

UQ Biodiversity Roadshow

Our team joined the UQ Biodiversity Roadshow at Manly on a less than ideal day. The frequent downpours meant that the public numbers were low, but those that were in attendance made up for it with enthusiasm about all things marine. The UQ centre for Marine Science hosted a mud flat walk and a large group of people ventured out onto Moreton Bay in the Moreton Bay Education Centre boat to conduct some plankton netting and inspect the results.

Attendance at this project is thanks to funding from the Port of Brisbane.


Brain Food

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

The Future We Choose - Surviving the Climate Crisis by Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac

An interesting read on the development of the Paris Agreement and insights into what we all can do to help the world reduce emissions. Chapter three is an awesome Utopian look at the world in 2050 if we take action and halve our emissions every decade.


Current Coral Affairs

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

Coral Finder Book Launch - May 20

Colleagues, Comrades and Coral Reeferers in the vicinity of Townsville!

Please join us for a brief celebration and refreshments as we launch the 2022 edition of Coral Finder (it tracks the science!) and the Coral Reefs: A Natural History hosted by Mary Who? Bookshop.

Having been some months in preparation, a splendid time is guaranteed for all.


How seahorses are a fish but also so un-fish-like

"The seahorse is a very unusual animal. Sure, it's a fish, but it's also so un-fish-like. Along with its horse-shaped head, it has eyes like a chameleon that can move independently and a prehensile tail that, similar to a hand, can grip objects. But as we grow our understanding of these unique creatures, the data is also making us realize that seahorses need our help. Leading to a fact for certain, it's time we start paying more attention to seahorses".
Read in National Geographic:

Did you know there could be endangered sharks in your pet food?

Check it out on facebook

Get with the Program

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

May 7 | Nurture Festival

A fun festival of music, creativity and activities for families and kids of all ages to connect with community organisations on the Sunshine Coast. Reef Check Australia are one of those community groups who will be there. Visit to get your tickets, which by the way are only $5.00, what a bargain.

Tuesday 10 May | Coast to Corals

This month Vicki Bennion will be talking about the effects of climate change induced sea level rise on mangrove forests. Head on over to our website to register so that you get the zoom link.

May 27-29 | Pranafest

Once again Reef Check Australia is the Charity of Choice for this event. Head on over to to find out more and book your tickets.

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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