In 2012, Reef Check Australia launched work in the Fraser Coast region with surveys of five new reef-monitoring locations, including sites on the Woongarra Coast and in Hervey Bay. Working with local management authorities and researchers, RCA selected sites with existing baseline data and important management priorities, with water quality as a particular focus.
We've been trying to return for regular surveys ever since. A total of 6 RCA annual reef health survey sites were monitored along the Fraser Coast in June 2017.
In addition to collecting a unique set of long-term reef health data for the region, we’ve also contributed to efforts to check up on the location of reef areas as part of the draft Queensland Intertidal and Subtidal Benthic Classification scheme.
As part of the project, we trained and coordinated local citizen scientists to help collect reef habitat information used for ground-truthing activities along the length of the Great Sandy Strait to help refine data for available reef habitat maps. Volunteers from Cooloola Coastcare and the wider community contributed dataset 81, providing first hand field data on the habitat composition for these locations.