Moreton Bay

On Brisbane’s doorstep are a diversity of spectacular and unique reefs, which is a truly unusual scenario given proximity to large metropolitan area. In a short boat trip from the coastline of bustling Brisbane’s hub of 2 million people, you can find subtropical reefs that host a diversity of tropical and cold water marine species.

While these reefs may not be as extensive, diverse or well-known as the Great Barrier Reef, they are pretty special. The offshore site Flinders Reef, for instance, is home to 125 species of coral. Research shows that Moreton Bay’s inshore reefs have about half of the coral diversity of offshore reefs, as the corals that live here are more robust to tolerate water quality influences from the land.

Moreton Bay’s marine environments host the largest known aggregation of leopard sharks in the world, as well as seasonal aggregations of both manta rays and grey nurse sharks. There are even two coral species that feature Moreton Bay in their name!

The region’s waterways are under growing pressure from a rapidly increasing human presence, with the SEQ population expected to reach 4 million by 2026. Stressors such as habitat loss, nutrient runoff, boating, anchoring, overfishing, marine debris and climate change will have increasing consequences for reefs in the SEQ region. As such, long-term monitoring of these habitats is critical.

Regional Updates

Getting Busy in Brisbane

August 27, 2019
  August saw some awesome educational events happening in Brisbane, and as ever our amazing team of ambassadors were there to educate and empower.   On the weekend of 16-18 August, over 4000 people attended Brisbane Science Festival at South Bank. Reef Check ambassadors raised awareness of the incredible marine diversity found on Brisbane’s doorstep in Moreton Bay and discussed ways that everybody can help protect the ocean, no matter where they live. We were inspired by the number of young STEM enthusiasts and budding marine biologists we met over the weekend who were excited to tell us about the actions they are already taking to protect the planet!       Meanwhile, the University of Queensland hosted ‘Trash free Tuesday’ over at their St Lucia Campus during sustainability week. The event brought attention to the range of sustainable choices each and every one of us can make in our daily lives to minimise waste. Reef Check Ambassadors chatted with staff and students about how to ditch the plastic habit and how to get involved in community clean up and awareness events in SE QLD. We hope to see everyone again soon at one of our local Coast to Coral events.     Thanks to the Queensland Government Citizen Science Grant for supporting our work in this area.
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World Ocean's Day Clean Up!

June 26, 2019
  This month, some of the awesome RCA Brisbane team ran a clean up at Amity Point for World Ocean's Day. They were pleasantly surprised to see the park and beach areas were already really clean.       The underwater team concentrated their work in and around the boat ramp, which is a popular spot for fishing, and collected 3kgs of marine debris. Unsurprisingly, the rubbish collected was largely fishing line, lures and sinkers.     Thanks to the Sylvia Earle Alliance & the Queensland Government Citizen Science Grant for supporting our work in this region.  
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Congratulations to Our New Scuba Surveyors!

April 16, 2019
Congratulations Surveyors! Our Brisbane and Gold Coast based surveyor trainees completed their intense Reef Health Surveyor courses over on beautiful North Stradbroke Island earlier this month, after weeks of theory training.   We lucked out with some beautiful conditions out at Shag Rock, and our group of trainees demonstrated some excellent ID skills in the field. Looking forward to you all joining us on surveys soon!   Thanks to all the trainers for all their hard work and knowledge, and thanks as always to Ken from Point Lookout SCUBA for looking after us!       This training would not have been possible without the help and support from the Queensland Government Community Sustainability Action Grant, the Port of Brisbane Pty Ltd, and the The Gold Coast City Council.
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Could You Be Our New SEQ Project Coordinator?

April 10, 2019
Reef Check Australia has a current vacancy for a SEQ Project Coordinator. The successful applicant for this position will be based in Brisbane and will have a unique blend of science, field experience and community engagement skills to plan, coordinate and lead our Brisbane and Gold Coast projects.     This is a casual position, 2/3 days a week and reports to the Reef Check Australia SEQ Programs and Community Engagament Manager If you think you might fit the bill - check out the job description and apply now!  
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