Around the Reef - Reef Check Australia - September 2021 Update

September 06, 2021

Dear Suppporter

Fathers day is fast approaching. Tired of buying "Stuff"? Instead of socks and jocks this year why not Adopt A Reef for Dad, a unique gift that also helps our reefs. Head on over to our website to find out more information.

This months email includes:

  • Action of the Month: Connect to Nature!
  • News from the Field
  • Brain Food
  • Current Coral Affairs
  • Get With the Program

Get back to nature. Reconnect with the world around you! 

Image from Geran De Klerk - Unsplash

I recently read something along the lines of "If we can't connect to nature, how are we going to advocate for it?" and these words really resounded with me. We've seen that hashtag #protectwhatyoulove, meaning people only care about what they connect with. So, in order for more people to care and collectively make positive changes for the world around us, we need more people (including ourselves!) to connect with nature.

A simple task, within reach for us all. Make time to go for a walk, listen to the birds, feel the wind on your skin, immerse yourself in the water, smell that flower or savour the taste of your morning coffee. Be present, soak it all in. What do you hear, smell, feel, touch, and even taste?

Our lives are so busy these days. It's these small moments of mindfulness that create gratitude and a sense of appreciation and connection with what is around us that are more important than we realise. Immersion in nature is immensely beneficial to mental health as well as general wellbeing, especially in present times (look up tree bathing if you haven’t heard of it!)

So, what will you make time for right now, to connect with nature and yourself?


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

Sunshine Coast Surveys

The team took advantage of the weather, and jumped at the chance to check out Kings Beach; a local gem so often forgotten by many. It takes a bit of planning to visit Kings Beach; the tides, the visibility, the timing; everything has to be perfect. Luckily for the team all the conditions aligned perfectly, allowing us to get out and check in on one of our favourite local spots. Here is what Rachel McVeigh; RCA survey diver had to say;

'What a fabulous few days of local diving with the RCA Team!

I’m always amazed at the diversity of corals right here in our watery back garden! It seemed like all the polyps were out feeding – what a delight to see!

Its especially always a pleasure diving with Julie and Jodi because their expertise is phenomenal and they are so eager and ready to share their knowledge – thanks ladies!

I’ve got to admit that I have a new crush! Egg Cowries!

And we actually got to witness one on the Kings Beach survey laying eggs. Her gorgeous black-spotted mantle covering her smooth bright white shell underneath. Just amazing!'

Want to see what Rachel is talking about? Check out the photos attached below. If you are interested in checking out this site for a snorkel; get in touch, we love to share information about our gorgeous local environments!

This survey is made possible through funding through the Sunshine Coast Council Environment Levy Partnerships Grant.

With such a good window of favourable weather conditions our teams also managed to complete three surveys at Mudjimba, one at the Inner Gneerings and three at Currimundi. Whilst it was a hectic few days we were super happy to get all of our surveys done following delays caused by poor visibility, windy weather and lockdowns. OH and on the last day out we were treated to a wonderful display by a pod of whales, dolphins and oh so many turtles!

These surveys are made possible through funding through the Sunshine Coast Council Environment Levy Partnerships Grant.

Plastic Free July

Plastic free Sunshine Coast is a way to connect the community on the Sunshine Coast to come together and promote sustainability and plastic-free living - through beach clean-ups, showing eco swaps on social media, promoting and working with local small eco businesses, working with sustainability organisations and just providing a platform for all of these to come together.

The event for Plastic Free July with the Sunshine Coast Council was the perfect example of providing this platform for everyone to come together and it was very special! Was such an amazing day with 25kgs of rubbish picked up, 23 eco business stalls, sustainability workshops, live music and a plastic-free coffee van! plastic free Sunshine Coast hopes to deliver more events like this again to the community.

Although 23kg might not seem like much, every little bit counts, and of this, hundreds of pieces of small, lightweight plastic was removed from the environment.

A Day on the Bay

Brisbane-based Reef Check Ambassador Krystel Stevenson and Adriana Robayo attended a community engagement opportunity with River to Bay Brisbane. The group runs a range of river tours from bar hopping to Island hopping. The tour we attended was the Best of Moreton consisting of a snorkel at Tangalooma wrecks, lunch at Stradbroke Island and a history tour at St Helena Island. This opportunity allowed Reef Check to engage with the community. Whilst snorkelling with the guests we were able to point out different species and guests even helped us fill out a ReefSearch slate. We then spoke about the important work Reef Check does and provided ways the community can assist in supporting our reefs, the conversation continuing over lunch. It was a great day filled with sunshine, laughs and wildlife.

Great Barrier Reef

During the Reef Leadership workshop on Orpheus Island back in March, the snorkellers were very excited when they encountered a VERY large Porites coral. At 5.3m tall and 10.4m wide it turns out it is one of the oldest on the Great Barrier Reef, estimated to be 400 years old. Read about it here!


Brain Food

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



Reef Life: An Underwater Memoir by Callum Roberts

In this book Callum recounts his work on coral reefs, starting from his first introduction to coral as a University student through to recent times as an acknowledged professional. His story's highlight the shifting baseline syndrome and how this makes people blind to past losses when they set their baseline by what they first see.

Inheritors of the Earth by Chris D. Thomas

For anyone interested in conservation this book provides an interesting perspective on changing biodiversity. You may not agree with everything the author says, but it is worth considering opinions that may differ from yours. If nothing else you may learn something you did not know, I know that I did.


Current Coral Affairs

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


Apparently female octopuses throw things at males that are harassing them, who knew?. Read more in New Scientist


Check out this neat video about research being done using Drones to monitor turtles. It also highlights the work of Reef Check Malaysia and the work they are doing to address plastic pollution.


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 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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