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

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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Becoming A Reef Ambassador!

March 27, 2019
Our Brisbane and Gold Coast Reef Ambassador training has wrapped up - and we're just as excited as our new Ambassadors about what lies ahead! We're going to leave it to new Reef Ambassador Jodi Burley to tell you a bit more: "I recently participated in Reef Check’s Ambassador’s training in West End. I joined Reef Check because I wanted to meet like-minded people and I had the impression that this organisation is open to individual ideas and with implementing them. My expectations have been fulfilled- I have recently learned that you can recycle soft plastics at supermarkets, and I am working with other Ambassadors on a project to improve awareness for recycling and reuse of plastics. Awesome experience in citizen science based conservation!!!" Go Jodi and all our other Ambassadors, new and existing, who are leading the way in their community!   If you'd like to join Jodi and the others in becoming a Reef Ambassador, there's still a couple of spots left on our upcoming Sunshine Coast and Noosa training course. But it closes soon so if you're interested then get your application in fast.  
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First Surveys For 2019 Done And Dusted!

February 19, 2019
Our SEQ dive teams have kicked off the 2019 season with visits to Moreton Bay and the Sunshine Coast, First up, Reef Check surveyors visited some of our inshore Moreton Bay sites in the second week of January, at St Helena, Mud Island and Green Island. The sites, which RCA aims to visit twice a year, are very close to the river, and urban development along the shore, making it a challenging environment for the coral communities that inhabit the area! With high silt loading and a lot of sediment in the water, it can also make for challenging diving conditions, but our surveyor team did a fantastic job of getting the surveys done at four of our sites! They found plenty of coral battling away, some interesting species of fish, including goatfish, snapper, some wobbegongs and a few sargassum filefish! Thanks to the team at Moreton Bay Research Station for helping us get out to these sites and to the Port of Brisbane Pty Ltd for supporting our surveys. And of course to our amazing surveyors for their hard work!     A Reef Check team also had the pleasure of visiting South East Queensland's most spectacular dive site, Flinders Reef, on the 20th of January. Flinders is home to an incredibly diverse range of marine and coral species, and most renowned for its beautiful large plate and branching corals! Reef Check Australia have been surveying sites at Flinders since 2007, and we have a number of monitoring sites there. Strong currents made it difficult to navigate to the first survey site, but our fantastic team of surveyors managed to complete a survey at our Alden's Cave site and collected an array of fantastic images for updating our surveyor training material! Thanks to Adreno, Scuba Shane and Supercat Charters for putting the trip together, and to the Queensland Government Community Sustainability Action Grant for supporting our activities and surveys in the Moreton Bay area. As ever we couldn't achieve this without our awesome team of surveyors, and special thanks to Gary Cranitch for the incredible images!       Our Sunshine Coast team also recently got out on the water at beautiful Bullcock Beach to do a survey - and didn't miss the opportunity to add in a clean up while they were there as part of the Clean Up for the Hatchlings event. Great work team!         With plans in place to pick up our in water activities in both the Gold Coast and Noosa regions this year, it's going to be a busy time for our Scuba Surveyors!  Don't forget, there's still time to registered your expression of interest for the upcoming Scuba Surveyor training courses in the Brisbane/Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast/Noosa regions. 
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