Around the Reef - Reef Check Australia - November 2021

November 01, 2021

Dear {{recipient.first_name_or_friend}} 

Boom. Its November! Once again, we blinked and another month passed by. What did you get up to this last month? Despite the weather continuing to try its best to foil our plans, our teams have been busy, out and about in the community above and below the water, cleaning up our coastlines and waterways, engaging the community and getting ready for the silly season.

We have plenty of events coming up in the next few weeks, so don’t forget to check out what's coming up.

This months email includes:

  • Action of the Month: Conscious shopping
  • News from the Field
  • Brain Food
  • Current Coral Affairs
  • Get With the Program

Conscious Shopping. Think about your purchases! 

Last month, we promised to share some of our favourite local businesses with you, whom you can support when ticking off that Christmas shopping list.  We love giving the gift of experiences, allowing people to connect with the world around them, so where possible; think about unique ways to check out your local areas this Christmas.  If however, you are shopping for someone out of town/interstate, why not gift them something from your local area. Your community will appreciate you for it.

Clayed Coral

Handcrafted on the Sunshine Coast this amazing reef inspired jewellery brand has been a HUGE support to @reefcheckaustralia the past year.

Donating 10% of all profits to our cause, buying from @clayedcoral this Christmas is a great way to support a local business and #saveourreefs They will not only make you look fabulous but also feel fabulous! 🥰🥰

This beautiful, handcrafted, reef inspired, all round epic jewellery is the perfect little something for your friends and family members for Chrissy!

Oh and did we mention they do sustainable shipping?!

Head over to to get your hands on a pair of these beautiful, sustainable earrings.

Lush Mala Beads

Lush mala beads have been a long term supporter of Reef Check Australia, and we collaborated for some mermaid malas!

The Mermaid Mala was born from the acknowledgement that we are all connected to the planet, and that what we do above the water directly affects what happens below it. Over 8 million tonnes of rubbish from our daily lives make its way into the ocean each and every year. Most of this will remain in the ocean, causing ingestion and entanglement issues for a myriad of animals. But a small portion of this debris will be removed. An even smaller portion will be recycled and given a second life.

With an idea to truly turn trash into treasure, Reef Check Australia and Lush Mala Beads teamed up to celebrate the amazing underwater wonderland, and to support the action agents dedicated to understanding and protecting our precious reef resources by creating something truly unique and beautiful. The Mermaid Mala series is the result of this collaboration. For each item you purchase from the series, 20% of the profits will go to Reef Check Australia to further support on ground (and underwater!) efforts. Made from recycled glass beads, silk, sterling silver charms and a whole lot of love, these gorgeous pieces won’t last long. So rise and shine. Embrace your inner mermaid and speak up for our oceans –and look damn good doing it.

Want your own mermaid mala? Head on over to Lush Mala Beads

Your Mates Brewery

Based on the Sunnycoast @yourmatesbrewing sells epics beers with a simple vision in mind - mateship, inclusiveness, and sustainability.

@yourmatesbrewing has been a HUGE supporter of Reef Check Australia by lending out their space to us every month for our epic Beer Yoga Event.

Make sure this Christmas you stock up on this epic beer (or ginger beer) made by epic people - supporting them supports us and many other organisations!

P.s while you’re there grab a bite to eat - the food is just as good as the beer. They also have some epic merch! 😍

Check out some cool merchandise from our supporter Lawrence here.

In the market for some unique candles? Check out repurposed wine bottles at Unwined Candle Co.

Goodwill Wines will donate half of the profit to Reef Check Australia from each bottle of wine sold, so make sure you select us as your charity of choice when ordering.

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

Late News - National Science Week

Along with oh so many fabulous humans absolutely SMASHING IT in their field, our General Manager was invited to be part of a National Science Week Q&A, where year 10 school students from regional schools across Queensland ask STEMM leaders to answer them.

It’s aimed at inspiring an interest in science in the next generation, so it was a great opportunity to talk all things marine biology, volunteering and science.

Check out the page to read all about insights from fellow Homeward Bound Cohort 5 members; Amelia Maree, Bernie-Anne Freeman, and Karen Joyce amongst oh so many other awesome people here: Stem experts

Beer Yoga - Last one for the Year

The last Beer Yoga for 2021 was held this month. Our wonderful yogi, Lisa,  tested everyone's balancing, beer drinking, burping, swimming and boat rowing abilities. Do you have any idea how difficult these moves are to achieve when you are in constant hysterics? Stay tuned for 2022 dates. You don't want to miss these epic events.

Great Barrier Reef

Surveys at Hayman Island

As we move out of the winter and headlong towards another warm summer, the water is warming and spring is in the air and under water. Reef Check Australia team leader Nathan Cook, was joined by Aimee Brown and Whitsunday locals and Reef Check surveyors Laura Oates and Ben Corbishley to a recent survey at Blue Pearl Bay, Hayman Island. The team completed an ecological survey on the fringing reef in front of the beach at Hayman Island. The reef experienced significant degradation as a result of ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie in 2017 and since then has shown only limited recovery in the ensuing 4 years. The site is dominated by massive Porites species coral bommies and an abundance of boring giant clams (Tridacna crocea), herbivores (rabbit and parrotfish) and the occasional sweetlips. Recovery is coming in the way of many new coral recruits evident on the relatively barren landscape, but recovery from this disturbance seems to be a bit of a slow burn on the nearshore reef environments of the Whitsundays. We were blessed with fantastic weather and calm seas. Big Thanks to our volunteers for helping collect important data to help contribute to management to help support the health and resilience of the Great Barrier Reef. Photos by Jenni Calcraft and Ben Corbishley

Luncheon Bay, Hook Island just a little bit cleaner

As part of Tangaroa Blue’s Great Barrier Reef wide ReefClean project, volunteers from Reef Check Australia headed to Luncheon Bay, Hook Island to do some good for our local environment. Over the last two years Reef Check have been conducting underwater and beach clean-ups at Luncheon Bay as one of multiple target sites as part of the project. Volunteers Ben Corbishley, Laura Oates, Kara Coulter-Mae and Aimee Brown joined team leader Nathan Cook. We conducted 1 underwater clean up dive and also did a sweep of the beach looking for any washed up debris. We are happy to report that each visit we appear to be finding less debris on each visit. A good sign that marine debris is likely not an ongoing issue at this site. By collecting data we will be able to see this trend and redirect resources in the future to more needy locations. But for now it is good to know this location is not presenting as a major issue. Thanks to everyone who helped out as part of this event. Photos by Aimee Brown and Nathan Cook.

The ReefClean project funded by the Australian Government’s Reef Trust, delivered by Tangaroa Blue Foundation and a number of partner organisations including Reef Check Australia.

Bowen Litter Clean Up

562 items. That was the total number of pieces of litter a group of volunteers collected during our latest cleanup event at the northern end of Kings Beach in Bowen, sponsored by DES (Department of Environment and Science). Sometimes it can be disheartening the amount of rubbish we collect from these cleans, especially when items include sanitary products, nappies, cigarettes and plastic bits and pieces. Oh, so many plastic bits and pieces. But...the reason we do this is we believe it's better out than in and for this particular cleanup it all came full circle when local Bowen resident, Meg, found an old turtles' egg that had hatched from a previous nesting season. We do it for the health of our beaches, our oceans, for our community and residents including marine animals like our turtles! We were also pleased to report that no microplastics (smaller than 5mm) were found in the @ausmap surveys we conducted. All data will be logged with @tangaroablue's Australian marine debris initiative database and we encourage you to do the same with your cleanups!

Want to join in the next event? Sign up to receive our Enews letter and follow us on socials for regular updates and event locations!

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


Brain Food

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

Dreamy - Having trouble getting to sleep? Indigenous creatives have put together a series of sleep stories "to help us hit that brain Snooze button".  Check them out here

Some of you may remember our Coast to Corals talk on crabs by Peter Davie. Check out his new book which is "A richly illustrated natural history of the world's crabs that examines their diversity, ecology, anatomy, behaviour and more."


Current Coral Affairs

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

Could this little fish really be the key to saving coral reefs? Read more here  

You know what it's like, you take photos of fish then leaf through countless ID books trying to pinpoint the species. This new tool (still in development) could solve your problems. Right now though you have the option of submitting your awesome photos to train the AI's algorithm. Follow this link for more info.

Get with the Program

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

  • 31 December 2021: Thrive. Reef Check Australia are the charity of choice again this year, so you can support Reef Check and have an awesome night out (or weekend). Get in early to get your tickets.

  • 22 January 2022: Get your tickets here


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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