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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. Books   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.    6 September 2021: Beer Yoga 8 September 2021: Clean Up Dive Gold Coast Seaway (email [email protected] for more details) 13 September 2021: Clean Up Dive Tallebudgera Creek (email [email protected] for more details) 14 September 2021: Coast to Corals - East meets West: Conservation efforts in the UAE 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.    Make a Donation
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Around the Reef - Reef Check Australia - August 2021 Update

September 06, 2021
Dear Supporters We are really pleased that we have been out on the water doing reef health surveys during the last month, even if the water is chilly.  Meanwhile our ambassadors have been out and about spreading the word on all things marine and encouraging people to go plastic free, not just for July, but for ever! Read on to see what we have been up to. This months email includes: Action of the Month: Time for a winter (spring) clean! News from the Field Brain Food Current Coral Affairs Get With the Program Time for a winter (spring) clean! Photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash Winter has come at us hard this year (doesn't it always feel like its getting colder and colder each time!) and whilst Reef Check Australia's main purpose is protecting our marine environments, and we will continue to do what it takes to do exactly that, it must be noted that many of us do not like cold weather. Finishing off some long term reef health monitoring in Moreton Bay recently, it was down to 15 degrees Celsius! During these cold months we certainly feel grateful for the fact that we have a roof over our head and a warm comfortable bed to sleep in. How about you? It's an alarming fact that around 116,000 Australians don't have this luxury and the pandemic has only made things worse. Whilst we may not all have the ability to donate money, many of us might find that if we took a look in our cupboards, we would have excess clothes or blankets that we don't need, and that would certainly benefit others without this luxury. It may not yet be spring, but why not have any early winter/spring clean and donate your clean excess clothes and blankets to a charity. There are many charities such as Sheltered by Grace, St Vincent De Paul and the Salvation Army doing amazing work with those less fortunate. Some places will donate goods directly to the homeless, others use store fronts to sell the second hand goods and raise much needed funds to provide support. Don't have anything to donate but in the market for some new clothes or homewares? Check out your local charity stores. You can get some amazingly good clothes and homewares at a bargain price and help raise funds this way. Plus you are recycling and reusing which is also amazing for our planet. Know of any other charities in need? Let us know and share the love!   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 Moreton Bay Surveys With sunshine and low winds a team of surveyors headed out over 2 days to complete our winter surveys in Moreton Bay. Conditions were lovely with good visibility although the water was rather chilly. We were pleased to see the amount of Sargassum algae had decreased, as had the levels of silt. Our surveyors are constantly amazed by the incredible amount of lovely hard and soft corals there are in these environments, providing important habitat for juvenile fish and estuarine species. Thanks to Port of Brisbane and Go Dive for making these surveys possible and a big thanks to our volunteers who entered all of the data. Thanks to Port of Brisbane for supporting these surveys. Peaks to Points Festival Our team had a great day at Peaks to Point Family Day at Oxley Creek Common on Sunday . Braving the wind, our ambassadors enjoyed talking all things Reef Check, encouraging people to save our reefs and oceans. There was no shortage of people drawing their favourite sea critter either, even a Saw Shark! Thank you to Port of Brisbane for supporting our Reef Ambassadors and community outreach in the region. Cook Island and Kirra Reef A very excited team headed south to the Tweed River and hooked up with Kirra Dive to make a fast trip out to Kirra Reef and Cook Island. Surface conditions at Kirra Reef were amazing and only a slight ripple greeted us at Cook Island. Kirra Reef is a highly variable environment, with algae beds giving way to clean rocky substrate covered in soft corals and anemones. Cook Island was teaming with fish and lots of lovely corals. The area is known for it's turtles and we were lucky enough to be distracted by a turtle during our survey. Thank you to City of Gold Coast for supporting these surveys. Seaside Scavenge Reef Check Australia happily supported this event again this year. Over 26kgs of rubbish was removed from Caloundra beaches which could be swapped for donated pre-loved goods. An all-round win for the environment, rubbish removed and goods given a new home instead of disposal. Congratulations to the team from Visionary Ocean Warriors for another successful event.  Great Barrier Reef The GBR team had an extremely busy May and June completing 9 beach and underwater cleanups as part of The ReefClean project before the end of the 2020/2021 financial year. The wind was not on our side and some trips were scheduled multiple times but we got there in the end! Jenni and Nathan wanted to say a big THANKYOU to the 39 legendary Reef Check Australia volunteers over 5 separate trips spanning 700km between Port Douglas and the Whitsundays. YOU collected 32.8kg of marine debris in addition to RCA surveys. A huge achievement and amazing outcome for our reefs and oceans! The next round of these trips will be coming up in the next few months again. The ReefClean project is funded by the Australian Government’s Reef Trust and delivered by Tangaroa Blue Foundation and a number of partner organisations including Reef Check Australia.   Brain Food Reviews and details on books, documentaries, and podcasts that we have come across, & wanted to share. Books   A Fortunate Life - A.B. Facey Not ocean related: "You Aussies probably all already know it but I remember reading it when I first moved to Australia and even though I can't remember any details, I remember thinking this was a nice, beautiful read" Hannaleena Vaisenen. Resilience Project by Hugh Van Cuylenburg After volunteering in Northern India, Hugh came to realise that the children there were remarkably positive despite the hardships they endured. He recognised that they possessed gratitude, empathy and mindfulness and shares this revelation and how we can all live a happier life. Sharks - A history of fear in Australia by Callum Denness This book is an interesting read on the history of fear of sharks in Australia. The author has researched shark encounters and interviewed the people involved. He also explores the role sharks play in indigenous history.   Current Coral Affairs Check out some of the latest news and research about our ocean and waste reduction innovations:    We have all heard about the problem of "ghost nets" - discarded fishing nets that trap marine life. A charity in the UK has been recognised for their work in removing this hazard. Ghost Fishing UK wins Plastic Free Award How cute is this? A baby Tiger shark has been spotted in the Cocos Islands - read more here.  The problem with Oodies: hooded blankets are cosy but they are not great for oceans or our healthThe thing that makes hooded blankets comfy and unnaturally soft is also what makes them bad for the environment and our health.Read in The Conversation   Get with the Program Here's what we've got coming up in the next few weeks, keep checking the website for more updates.    9 August 2021: Beer Yoga 10 August 2021: Coast to Corals - Carnivorous Sponges 27 August to 5 September 2021: Horizon Festival If you missed our recent Coast to Coral online event, 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.    Make a Donation
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Around the Reef - Reef Check Australia - July 2021 Update

July 07, 2021
Dear Supporter We hope this email finds you all well and staying warm. Whilst the weather has continued to make in-water activities difficult we have been busy with events spreading knowledge on how people can make a positive impact even with a minor behaviour change.  Which is rather relevant as we head into Plastic Free July. Take a read to see what we have been up to recently and what is coming up soon for Reef Check Australia. This months email includes: Action of the Month: Plastic free July!. Inspire Change - Amber Moran Tax Time News from the Field Brain Food Current Coral Affairs Get With the Program Plastic Free July.   Image sourced from Abode of Chaos.  Plastic Free July; how can you minimise your plastic addiction? Welcome to July! 6 months into the year, that means it's time to check in; how are you all doing? What has been working for you this year, and what have you been working on to change? We have been working hard cleaning up our waterways as we conduct annual reef health surveys, and we can't help but notice the sheer amount of plastic we find both above, and below the surface of the water. Our General Manager was lucky enough to be a part of the Exxpedition recently; a team of women sailing (currently sailing virtually) around the world, visiting the 5 gyres, and documenting marine debris as well as working on strategies to actively reduce our plastic addiction, clean up our oceans, and create innovative ways to move towards a circular economy. It has been fascinating. Did you know that the number one contributor of plastic micro-particles in the ocean can be attributed to washing our clothes? Every time we wash our clothes, additional micro-particles are washed down the drain, resulting in trillions of tiny particles making their way into our waterways and oceans, into our marine life and eventually back into our own bodies. Wow! Scary, right! We have all heard the slogans; there is no such thing as away: when we throw something out, it has to go somewhere. So with this in mind, and following on from last months action to care for our planet, we are challenging ourselves, and you in this months action of the month: join plastic free July, and see how many ways you can switch our collective plastic addiction. How many days can you go without using any form of single use plastic. It's tougher than you think. For some hot tips and tricks on some of the best products we have found, check out our FB, Instagram, and Linked-in pages. We will be sharing our hottest tips and tricks from all our volunteers, partners and staff so we can all learn from the wins and losses to make the best choices possible. Have your own tips, tricks, wins or challenges you want to share? Please do! And remember to tag us @reefcheckaustralia so we can share your tips with everyone else. Happy exploring, and good luck! Inspire Change Amber Moran is a CoralWatch ambassador and now Reef Check surveyor. Amber had been wanting to join the RCA team for so long!!! Amber is self-confessed Reef Check tragic with some great friends who are ambassadors and surveyors. I really wanted to take my surveying skills to the next level and join my friends on upcoming RCA surveys. Here Amber recounts some of her training adventures and shows us how we can all inspire change today.  The Reef Check Australia Whitsundays Citizen Science Project is funded by the partnership between the Australian Government’s Reef Trust and the Great Barrier Reef [email protected] @reefecologic @reefcatchments   Tax Time End of the financial year it almost here.Want to make a tax deductible donation and help support our reefs? You can adopt a reef or make a one off or recurring donation via our website . Our reefs will thank you!   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 Gold Coast Green Week Our team of ambassadors participated in a number of events to support the Gold Coast Green Week during June. Ambassador Gina Broadbent gave an online presentation on the Gold Coast reefs, including their health and what we regularly see at these reefs. If you missed this presentation it is available on our You Tube channel at this link. What Lies beneath Meanwhile ambassador Susy James hosted an online Beeswax Wraps session, showing how easy it is to make your own reusable wraps and ditch the single use plastic wrap. We even had participants from South Africa - how good it is that! Missed the event? Watch it now. Thanks to City of Gold Coast for helping support these events. UQ Winter Roadshow Redcliffe Sunday 20th June at Sutton’s Beach Redcliffe turned on the sunshine and low winds for a perfect winter’s day. Corinna, Krystal and Colin joined the UQ Marine Society and wooed the crowd to have their photos taken in front of the Green Screen with their favourite “Speech Bubble” Low tide made the UQ guided tours during the event all the more interesting by seeing recent lava formations with attached live oysters, & recent existence of sting ray sand pits – in all, an interesting tour of the ecology of the beach intertidal zone, not to be missed.  Thank you to Port of Brisbane for supporting our Reef Ambassadors and community outreach in the region.   Great Barrier Reef Sharing knowledge with local Ngaro Traditional Owners As part of the Reef Check Australia citizen science project in the Whitsundays, we are working with Traditional Owners to share knowledge and support their desire to enhance their capacity to care for country. Reef Check Australia coordinators Nathan Cook and Jenni Calcraft met with Ngaro Traditional Owners Peter Pryor and Merv Pryor to discuss ways to improve knowledge exchange about Indigenous culture surrounding the Great Barrier Reef. It was great to sit in the park at Riverway today and be inspired by Peter and Merv, their love for country, knowledge, respect and sharing. In the coming weeks we will be developing some communications products that will hopefully help share knowledge about the cultural history of the Ngaro people of the Whitsundays. The Reef Check Australia Whitsundays Citizen Science Project is funded by the partnership between the Australian Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment’s Reef Trust and the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, supported by Reef Check Australia ,Reef Ecologic Reef Catchments, and CoralWatch.   Brain Food Reviews and details on books, documentaries, and podcasts that we have come across, & wanted to share. Books   Coral Finder 2021 by Russell Kelley This is the newest version of Russell's awesome Coral Finder for Indo Pacific Corals. It takes you step by step through identifying your coral.  There are also associated online learning videos to help you navigate your way through identifying corals. Leading without authority by Keith Ferrazzi In this book Keith reveals how you can get people around you to cooperate and collaborate, even if you are not their supervisor or boss.  Life Lessons from the Ocean by Richard Harrington Richard explores how we can learn from the ocean in order to manage our everyday lives.   Podcasts In this amazing podcast, Simon Pierce, Whale Shark Conservation Biologist talks about how he grew to love and study whalesharks and the amazing work he is doing for their conservation.  Current Coral Affairs Check out some of the latest news and research about our ocean and waste reduction innovations:    Looking for unique Homewares made from recycled materials? Checkout this site: Homewares, Handmade and Recycled by MAB   Another paper published on the 20 years of annual Heron benthic surveys and still going. Title: Fine-scale time series surveys reveal new insights into spatiotemporal trends in coral cover (2002–2018), of a coral reef on the Southern Great Barrier Reef.Link: Report It follows the just recently published data paper:Title: Benthic and coral reef community field data for Heron Reef, Southern Great Barrier Reef, Australia, 2002–2018Journal: Nature and Scientific dataAuthors: Chris Roelfsema, Eva M. Kovacs, Kathryn Markey, Julie Vercelloni, Alberto Rodriguez-Ramirez, Sebastian Lopez-Marcano, Manuel Gonzalez-Rivero, Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, & Stuart R. PhinnLink: Report   Get with the Program Here's what we've got coming up in the next few weeks, keep checking the website for more updates.    13 July 2021: Coast to Corals - Introduction to Coral Taxonomy 18 July 2021: Come and say hi at the Peaks to Points Festival 10 August 2021: Coast to Corals - Carnivorous sponges and other sessile marine invertebrates - stay tuned for the link. 27 August to 5 September 2021: Horizon Festival If you missed our recent Coast to Coral online event, 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.    Make a Donation   Copyright © 2021 Reef Check Australia, All rights reserved.You have received this newsletter because you have given Reef Check Australia your email address. If you would prefer not to receive any further emails, please click the unsubscribe link in your email.Our mailing address is: Reef Check Australia1/377 Montague RdWest End, QLD 4101Australia      
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Around the Reef - Reef Check Australia - June 2021 Update

July 07, 2021
Dear Supporter It's officially winter and the end of the financial year is fast approaching. Like many of you we are endeavouring to comply with all of our commitments before then. We just need the weather to cooperate.  Take a read to see what we have been up to recently and what is coming up soon for Reef Check Australia. This months email includes: Action of the Month: Care for the planet!. Inspire Change Tax Time News from the Field Brain Food Current Coral Affairs Get With the Program Care for the planet. Its June already! How did you spend your May? What intention did you set for yourself for the month, and what habits did you put in place to make sure you succeeded, and to track your progress? As mentioned previously, we believe that in order to best protect the world around us, we first need to look after ourselves and each other. Over the past few months we have been giving you some of the tips, tricks and tools we use for actioning these ideas. With a solid understanding of how to look after ourselves, and each other, we now want to take a look at the ways we can all make that extra step towards looking after the world around us. Which leads me to this months action of the month: caring for the planet. Let's be honest. The earth needs our help. Or more likely, we need the earths help; because it will live on well after we do. Which ever way you look at it, we believe we should do all we can to help protect the environment around us, and the critters that live amongst it. So this month we are going to look at the ways you can assist with looking after this glorious world around us. There are a million different ways that you can choose to protect our earth; lands, oceans, mountains and the like. So let's just start with the top three that we believe can make a big difference. Donate to your favourite cause (that’s us, right?)I know I know, another person asking you to donate. But the reality is there are thousands of not-for-profit organisations doing their very best to better understand, monitor and protect the natural environment, and they need your help. Every little bit helps, so if you can, please think about a monthly giving donation. Even a one off donation is very much appreciated! Or think outside the square and look at adopting a reef for that someone special for a truly unique gift idea, and make an ocean of difference. All donations big or small are tax deductible, and with EOFY just days away, make your dollars work towards protecting our reefs and oceans. Volunteer your timeIf you don’t have the ability to donate money at the moment, but are still keen to help out where you can, think about volunteering your time. Time is the most precious thing we all have, so how can you utilise some of yours for the betterment of yourself, others and the planet? Become a Reef Ambassador, a SCUBA surveyor, or an event volunteer. If you like to organise events, maybe you can help organise a fundraiser in your local area! We have plenty of resources to help you on your way. Head on over to our website for inspiration. Beer yoga, Gin Yoga, trivia… just some of the ideas others have come up with so far! Take action- from wherever you are.Back in February we asked you to take a look at your carbon footprint. To do more, we need to know more, so after better understanding how your actions impact the world around you, what changes did you, and/or can you make to minimise your impact? Can you choose green energy? Can you shop local, or say no to single use plastic? Can you eat less meat, or use public transport? Or is there something else that you have been wanting to commit to? What are the top three things that you can do or change to make the biggest impact? Feel free to share your wins and challenges with us online; Facebook, Instagram, Linked In, or email. How will you focus on caring for the planet this month?   Inspire Change Lynndel Oui is Ngaro Traditional Owner who, along with her daughter Milda, recently became Reef Check Australia Ambsssadors. Lynnddel & Milda joined a Reef Check Australia expedition in the Whitsundays region of the Great Barrier Reef in October 2020 learning how to care for their sea-country using citizen science methods and techniques to collect valuable data on the health of our reefs. During the trip they journeyed with some amazing people and were inspired to make a difference for the health of our Reefs. The Reef Check Australia Whitsundays Citizen Science Project is funded by the partnership between the Australian Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment’s Reef Trust and the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, Reef Check Australia, Reef Ecologic, Reef Catchments, CoralWatch. Watch our video here Tax Time Want to make a tax deductible donation and help support our reefs?    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 Palm Beach Gold Coast An intrepid team were up before sunrise and headed south to Palm Beach. Surface conditions were amazing, with no wind and sunshine although there was still some swell around. Recent reports on visibility indicated it was patchy and we certainly encountered this. Our team braved the surge and successfully completed both surveys, recording numerous octopus, urchins, anemones and wobbegongs. Thanks to City of Gold Coast and Gold Coast Dive Adventures for making these surveys possible. Gold Coast Seaway written by Cheryl Tan, RCA SCUBA Surveyor Lovely Monday morning survey dives took place on the Gold Coast seaway. The visibility was not as great as it has been in the past, but it was enough for us to enjoy the site. A group of 5 reef check divers completed 2 surveys, one at "the pipes" and the other at the "southwest wall". All in all, we saw some cheeky cleaner shrimp, eels, schools of fish hanging around the pipes and ended our last survey with a cleanup of fishing lines and hooks that were wrapped around rocks. Over a kg of debris was removed in just one very quick clean up! It was chilly in the water but the gorgeous sun and provision of hot piping drinks after the dives were well worth the effort the team put in. Thank you for another great day in the water! Thanks to City of Gold Coast for supporting these annual reef health surveys. Logan Eco Action Festival It was a beautiful sunny day for the Logan Eco Action Festival, with quite a number of people enjoying the sunshine and the many stalls supporting the environment and sustainability. The Reef Check team had a wonderful time playing guess that sea creature, draw your favourite sea creature with the young and young at heart. We also enjoyed many interesting conversations with the community on the importance of our oceans and what we all as individuals can do to help save our oceans and promoting the work that Reef Check Australia do. It was particularly nice to see the reaction of people when they saw the Flinders book and discovered that we have these beautiful reefs so close to home! Thank you to Port of Brisbane for supporting our Reef Ambassadors and community outreach in the region. Great Barrier Reef Hardy Reef - Whitsundays Last month our GBR team had the opportunity to visit Hardy Reef in the Whitsundays for a combined survey and social trip. We conducted 8 surveys at two different sites and were treated to a drift dive back to the pontoon and the end of our big weekend of surveys. HUGE thank you to the RCA team for helping to collect  all the data and of course to Cruise Whitsundays for the support! World Science Festival written by Rachel King, RCA Reef Ambassador On Friday the 7th of May Jenni, Caitlin and Rachel headed to the Museum of Tropical Queensland to represent Reef Check as ambassadors of citizen science. This day forms a part of the World Science Day celebrations, coinciding with the reopening of the Museum in Townsville. This was a great opportunity to connect with young students from local schools in the Townsville community with hands on citizen science activities and we took the opportunity to dust off our greenscreen! We transported visitors to John Brewer Reef with some fantastic reefscape backdrops supplied by the amazing photographer Matt Curnock. We also set up a mini transect with different fish, invertebrate, substrate and impacts that can be found on our surveys and encouraged students to help us conduct reef surveys using ReefSearch datasheets. Overall, a great event with lots of teachers showing interest in doing more with us in the future. Reef Catchments Marine Classroom Last month we were invited to spend three days and two nights at Scawfell Island out of Mackay with Reef Catchments from the Mackay-Whitsunday-Isaac region as part of their joint partnership with the Reef Assist Marine Classrooms project. Students from Sarina SHS had an incredible opportunity to study both marine and terrestrial ecosystems in the GBR learning about reef health monitoring with Reef Check, marine debris with Tangaroa Blue and invasive weeds with Reef Catchments whilst building meaningful connection to the oceans, the group and themselves. Brain Food Reviews and details on books, documentaries, and podcasts that we have come across, & wanted to share. Books   Underland A Deep Time Journey by Robert MacFarlane Robert reaches back into the deep history of the planet, through the layers of rock and ancient buried objects, and forward to the future, the legacy of the anthropocene and the world we bequeath our descendants. The Rise of Superman by Steven Kotler Not marine based but this book explores how athletes of extreme sports achieve their goals and how their methods can be used in everyday life. Reef Heresy by Peter Ridd This book provides interested Australians with a scientific based account of conditions of the Reef and the information to properly understand its condition.   Current Coral Affairs Check out some of the latest news and research about our ocean and waste reduction innovations:    HAVE YOU GOT CHILDREN OR KNOW ANY? Check out this #kidscareaboutclimatechange drawing contest (http://kidscareaboutclimate.org). They plant a tree for every entry & will film a giant banner of drawings in forests around the world & hopefully showcase both at COP26. It ends 30 June. https://youtu.be/KRNjSuRQYnU Don't know what to do with your old "beyond repair" wetsuit? Donate them to help out flying fox rescuers. Contact Jodi L Jones directly. Read about this divers rare encounter with a white Grey Nurse Shark.   Get with the Program Here's what we've got coming up in the next few weeks, keep checking the website for more updates.    4 June to 6 June 2021: Pranafest Tuesday 8 June 2021: Coast to Coral: Check our Calendar for more information Wednesday 9 June 2021: What lies beneath.. a deeper look at Gold Coast Reefs Thursday 10 June 2021: DIY Beeswax Wraps Monday 21 June 2021: Beer Yoga at the Brewhouse 27 August to 5 September 2021: Horizon Festival If you missed our recent Coast to Coral online event, 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.  Make a Donation   Copyright © 2021 Reef Check Australia, All rights reserved.You have received this newsletter because you have given Reef Check Australia your email address. If you would prefer not to receive any further emails, please click the unsubscribe link in your email.Our mailing address is: Reef Check Australia1/377 Montague RdWest End, QLD 4101Australia      
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Around the Reef - Reef Check Australia - May 2021 Update

May 04, 2021
Dear {{recipient.first_name_or_friend}}  The weather has been fickle up and down the coast but Reef Check Australia has still been active both on and off the water.  Take a read to see what we have been up to recently and what is coming up soon for Reef Check Australia. This months email includes: Action of the Month: Care for each other!. PRANAFEST Getting to know our volunteers News from the Field Brain Food Current Coral Affairs Get With the Program Care for each other. As another month passes, and it feels like time continues to speed up, always racing away from us, I am reminded of a story I heard recently about life being like a giant bus. The bus of life comes down the road and you jump on. It has no brakes and no instructions. It has no map; it just keeps moving- with or without you. It doesn’t care if you are sick, how much money you make, or how successful you are; nor how you define success. It just keeps going. Until one day it doesn’t. Sounds a little scary, right? And yet it's oh so true! How many times have you caught up with a friend; realising it's been months since you saw them. Or you look at your calendar and realise another month has gone. Or six. Time is flying… are you using the tailwind to your advantage, or are you gripping on for dear life? Would you recognise the difference? Last month’s action of the month focussed on looking after yourself; put on your oxygen mask before assisting others. Now that you have that covered (or at least made a start.. right?) we want to take a look at how you can look after those around you; your community; as well. Time is the most precious thing we have. We all have exactly the same number of hours in a day, minutes in an hour, seconds in a minute. So how are you showing up in those seconds, minutes, hours? Are you living the life you want? Are you showing up in the world how you want to be seen? What does this even mean? Your community is all the people around you. It’s the people you interact with on a daily, weekly, monthly, yearly basis. It's anyone you choose to share time with. It’s the people you turn to when stuck, it’s friends and family, coworkers, peers, and anyone with whom you have an impact through your decisions, buying power, words and language. How are you showing up for any of these people? Thinking of all the people you interact with; how are you showing up with them. Are you present? Do you actively listen to what they have to say? Are you attached to your phone, to scrolling, to watching people's online life, whilst real life and real people are in front of you, sharing their most precious resource; time; with you- right here, right now? This month's "Action of the Month" is simple. Just choose to be present. In anything. In everything. Switch off your phone, your computer, your TV and pay attention to those around you. Go for a walk in nature, and really look at how amazing the world around you is. Stop trying to multitask (badly, I might add) and be in the moment. In meetings; in-person and online. And see what happens when you choose to be present. This small change can make huge differences in your work, your life, and your relationships with your community. Are you up for the challenge?   PRANAFEST Following on from the Action of the Month; to care for each other, and last month's action of looking after yourself first, PRANAFEST offers the perfect blend of the above, set amongst the beautiful mountains of the hinterland to immerse yourself fully in this first of its kind experience. Created by The Flow State Experience’ PRANAFEST is the first edition of the teams Sunshine Coasts’ ultimate wellbeing & music retreats. PRANAFEST is a totally immersive experience of connectedness within yoga, music, art, country, community & culture is a first of its kind. With an incredible, world-class team of facilitators, PRANAFEST offers an epic 3-day retreat-style event June 4 - 6. The full experience is going to be one powerful, collaborative energy shift ~ a journey to inspire self-love, community elevation and expansion. Sounds gorgeous, right? The festival is blessed to have some of Australia’s foremost thought leaders, yoga teachers, breath-work facilitators, musicians, meditation experts and inspiring mentors. The first lineup announcement includes New Earth Metta, Dubarray, Gwyn Williams, Oka & Sound of Hemp, Dan Pauro, Chris Lane, Art of Connection, Liquid Lyrics, Nirvair Devi, Manoa and Flow Song with so many more to be unveiled for a completely transformational experience. So if you were thinking of how you might take the step into better understanding yourself and those around you... look no further! The best part? Reef Check Australia is PRANAFEST's Charity Partner. We will help with the waste management, with donations from the event going towards supporting reef health monitoring along the length of the QLD coastline. This also means that we are able to offer our Reef Check Australia supporters a special code that will get you 10% off your ticket... but get in quick! We only have 10 of these passes up for grabs. CODE: Togetherforouroceans Tickets available now https://events.humanitix.com/pranafest/tickets With zipPay available through Humanitix (Buy now, pay later. Interest-free) For more information visit www.pranafest.com.au   Getting to Know our Volunteers at Reef Check Australia | Tara Humphries Where are you from? Sunshine Coast, QLD. What motivated you to join our team? I recently helped out with raising awareness for Reef check at the beer yoga night and I enjoy getting involved in the beach cleanups and world environment day festival. What project are you planning on focusing on? I love to engage children in learning about our beaches + reefs and how to protect them -I’d love to do more with that in the future. What animal do you think best represents you? Osprey. Night owl or early bird? 100% Early bird.  Flying or invisibility? Flying. Favourite food? Vietnamese Favourite marine animal? Whales. Thanks Tara for being an important part of Reef Check Australia.     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 Clean Up Amity Point An awesome team of volunteers headed over to Amity Point on Stradbroke Island to clean up some of the fishing debris, a result of the popularity of this area. Our volunteer Marzia Coslan shares her thoughts on the event: It was great to be part of the event funded by Healthy Land and Water. I always feel that seeing the amount of rubbish being picked up straight from the sea has a huge impact on public awareness. The only thing I would change is doing it more often to keep it in everyone's mind...and also to catch up more regularly with my Reef Check mates! This project was supported by Healthy Land and Water, through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program. Yoga Events: Earth Hour To celebrate Earth Hour, our South East Queensland and Great Barrier Reef teams organised Yoga by Candle Light. Tiffany aged 14 shares her insight on the event: Earth Hour yoga was a great event for all ages. It was amazing how everyone came together so easily. The yoga by candlelight was thoroughly relaxing and everyone finished feeling peaceful. The partner yoga was a lovely opportunity to experience a connection with others. This is definitely something I hope to do again next year! Thanks to our Yogi's Gabriella Salmon (SEQ) and Tracy from Live and Breath Yoga (Townsville) for donating their time and skills to these amazing events. Gin Yoga By Liz Buccheri Brisbane-based Reef Check Ambassador Krystel Stevenson organised and ran an incredible Gin & Yoga event in Milton this month. With the help of a few more Brisbane Ambassadors, Devin Rowell and Liz Buccheri, RCA welcomed a small group of community members to an hour-long Vinyasa yoga session that included 2 tasty gin cocktails throughout the night. The delicious gin was house-made at our venue, Warehouse 25, and was infused with calming botanicals like lavender and lemon myrtle which really enhanced the relaxing vibes of our yoga session. Our yoga instructor, Em, who is a fellow ocean lover and Reef Check supporter, ran an incredible session that left us all feeling relaxed yet empowered. She did a wonderful job of incorporating our drinks into the yoga poses that we did which was fun for everyone! She also incorporated many of RCA’s key ideals and messages into the session, including her focus on the significance of water throughout the night, and her final message to end the session about the ways that we can all protect and conserve our planet. The community members that attended the event all had an incredible time and some who were not aware of what RCA does were able to ask questions and learn a bit from our ambassadors. Overall, the night was filled with fun and enthusiastic, like-minded people who were all super passionate about our oceans and extremely supportive of RCA’s cause! Great Barrier Reef Over the last few months, Reef Check GBR team has hosted stalls at the Townsville Cotters Markets, Airlie Beach Markets, and Ocean Film Festival, Townsville. A number of our ambassadors and surveyors helped to spread the word about Reef Check and their citizen science monitoring. The reception was positive, gaining a few potential volunteers and entertaining some kiddies with "Who Am I" reef games. We are hoping to hold more regular stalls leading to greater community engagement for our GBR chapter. - Ingrid Naschwitz Reef Citizen Science and Leadership Workshop at Orpheus Island Research Station Kailash Cook, Reef Check Australia Ambassador, Surveyor and Reef Ecologic Intern shares his experience at the Orpheus Island Research Station. Read now in News. Brain Food Reviews and details on books, documentaries, and podcasts that we have come across, & wanted to share. Books   Unnatural History of the Sea by Callum Roberts In this book conservation biologist, Callum Roberts explores just how early in our history exploitation of the seas began and what can be done to start to repair the damage. Also available as an audio book.   Shark Drunk by Morten Stroksnes The art of catching a large shark from a tiny rubber dinghy in a big ocean is a quirky and interesting book about the North Atlantic and coastal history of Norway.   Current Coral Affairs Check out some of the latest news and research about our ocean and waste reduction innovations:    Parents - what do you do with old school uniforms? How's this for a great idea - Read more  Did you know there is such a thing as a Blanket Octopus? - check out this amazing YouTube video Get with the Program Here's what we've got coming up in the next few weeks, keep checking the website for more updates.    Tuesday 11 May 2021: Coast to Coral: What the Wreck is it! Diving into Queensland's wrecks and reefs Sunday 23 May 2021: Come visit our stall at Logan Eco Action Festival 4 June to 6 June 2021: Pranafest Wednesday 9 June 2021: Gold Coast Green Week: What lies beneath... A deeper look at Gold Coast reefs 27 August to 5 September 2021: Horizon Festival If you missed our recent Coast to Coral online event, 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.    Make a Donation   Copyright © 2021 Reef Check Australia, All rights reserved.You have received this newsletter because you have given Reef Check Australia your email address. If you would prefer not to receive any further emails, please click the unsubscribe link in your email.Our mailing address is: Reef Check Australia1/377 Montague RdWest End, QLD 4101Australia      
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Around the Reef - Reef Check Australia - Jan 2021 Update

January 15, 2021
Dear {{recipient.first_name_or_friend}} --  Hello and welcome to 2021! We hope your festive season was exactly that; festive! and that you were able to take some time out to enjoy the things you like to do, that you replenished your soul, enjoyed the outdoors, and are ready and rearing for a fantastic 2021. Taking inspiration from our involvement and participation in the THRIVE Festival over New Year’s Eve, January's Action of the month is to plant the seeds of intention for the year ahead. To start the new year, this months email includes: Action of the Month: Plant the Seeds of Intention for the Year Ahead Thriving into the New Year Clean-up for the Hatchlings Beer Yoga with Reef Check Seaside Scavenge Hunt & Beach Clean-up at Caloundra Getting to know our volunteers News from the Field Brain Food Current Coral Affairs Get With the Program Plant the Seeds of Intention for the Year Ahead What does this mean? For us, it means preparing for the year ahead. To think about what we want to achieve in the year ahead, and how we plan on doing that. Individually, what changes do we want to make in our life, career, relationships, friendships, or impact in the world around us? This is no easy task, but it's important to take the time and really get clear on what you want to achieve. Set your intentions. Write them down. It might be a word, a statement, an image. But be clear and get ready. Because these intentions, these seeds, we are going to plant them. You can do so physically, metaphorically, or both. You choose. But this seed of thought, of intention, or purpose; this is what will drive you through the next 12 months. Once the seed is planted, it's not set and forget. It needs nutrients to grow. So what practices, habits, and plans will you put in place to nurture it? Is it self-care, learning more, personal development, a new course, or simply dedicating time to any of the above? What is the keystone habit that will drive you ahead this year? What are the nutrients (those habits, plans, etc) that you will pour into and over your seed of intention to ensure it grows and blooms? So sit back, relax, and set your intentions for the year. And get ready to watch them bloom.   Thriving into the new Year! Written by Kade Chambers, Reef Check Australia volunteer. My passion, love for the ocean, and marine life has drawn me to the very addictive hobby of diving. It is through this love of the ocean and diving where I met Jodi and started to learn about Reef Check Australia. Since first meeting Jodi and the Reef Check team on their fundraising trip aboard Saltwater Eco Tours I have since joined them for an underwater clean up dive, and exploratory snorkels in Morton Bay. I have also been on a few recreational reef dives with Jodi, which were very educational; she is a book of knowledge on reefs and marine critters. Since learning about RCA, I wanted to find all the ways I could get more involved, so as soon as I heard they needed volunteers for THRIVE, I jumped at the chance to hang out with awesome people helping out, for New Years Eve. And WOW what an unbelievable festival! As a volunteer with RCA we were responsible for waste removal. As a part of this, we sorted and kept all the cans and bottles from the event, with all proceeds from the refund scheme donated to RCA. Even though I was collecting rubbish I probably had my best New Years to date, volunteering with Jodi, Scott, Lisa and Michael (other RCA volunteers) was made really fun. I’m pretty sure I can speak for all volunteers when I say we all had a really good night and made some money for RCA, and did our bit for the environment. It feels good to start 2021 doing something so awesome. Hats off to Jodi and the Reef Check team for their awesome work and making life for volunteers easy and enjoyable. Looking forward to the next event I can help out at.   Clean-up for the Hatchlings 2021 We are pleased that this important annual Sunshine Coast event is still able to go ahead with a COVID safe plan in place. There are still places available to help clean-up our beaches for our impending turtle hatchlings (and the entire marine ecosystem). We would love you to join us by registering at Eventbrite here. Once on there you can select the beach you wish to attend, if your first choice is not available we encourage you to select another one. There will be a QR code for sign in at the beach on the morning. Please remember to bring your own gloves, plus a hat, sunscreen, and water bottle. After the beach clean-up there is a free sausage sizzle and some prize awards at La Balsa Park at Buddina. Who does not love a free sausage sizzle???? Okay, there will be Mushrooms for the vegetarians and they are pretty awesome as well!   Beer Yoga with Reef Check  What an EPIC beer yoga event to be our last one for the year! Last month we were joined by the epic SCOTT from Younion Yoga to help us find our zen in amongst the Christmas craziness. It was nice to be able to take some time out, stretch and relax with a tasty brew in hand thanks to Your Mates Brewery before the full craziness of the silly season hit. Thank you to everyone who continues to support Reef Check Australia in any way that you can. Keen to help us kick off the next beer yoga for 2021? Stay tuned for details!   Seaside Scavenge Hunt & Beach Clean-up, Caloundra Reef Check Australia was at the Seaside Scavenge in Caloundra, on the Sunny Coast at the end of last year. This event was a fun-filled day where local community was able to pick-up rubbish in exchange for pre-loved clothes, books, toys, and furniture. Despite the very windy conditions the event was a great success which resulted in 65kg of local rubbish being collected by the enthusiastic ocean and earth lovers. The event was led by Poppy from the Visionary Ocean Warriors, who are an inspiring group of young people dedicated to protecting our oceans. The day was filled with fantastic local music, educational information booths and great guest speakers which included Sea Shepherd, Tangaroa Blue and our very own Jodi Salmond from Reef Check Australia (who also MCed the event!). A big thank you to Julie, Olga and Toni for helping out on the day (you guys rock!).   Getting to Know our Volunteers at Reef Check Australia | Ben Brauer Ben is the coordinator of New Beginnings (www.newbeginnings.net.au). ''I’ve been interested in the Marine Environment from age 5, and was pleased to be able to include marine programs into my non-profit charitable work in Queensland. For me being a part of the Reef Check Ambassador program was a valuable multi-faceted experience, bringing new knowledge for my youth marine conservation work, the possibility for cooperation with other like-minded organisations, and my first snorkel in quite a while. Above all, meeting so many lovely people, all intent on reef conservation. Thanks to all of you!! It seems I will return to some of the bays we stopped at when I take part in the Whitsunday Cleanup Flotilla on my own boat later this month. So, more knowledge gained during our RCA trip of the anchorages and channels we transited that I hadn’t been to before. Reef Check Ambassador Ben Brauer (left), with our Reef Check GBR Coordinator Nathan Cook   Where are you from? Originally from Germany, but a long-time Australian resident, currently living on the Gold Coast. What motivated you to join our team? New knowledge, new cooperations. What project are you planning on focusing on? Currently my charity’s Youth Programs, including our recently introduced Youth Marine Conservation Programs. What animal do you think best represents you? Eagle (my companion from early in life) Night owl or early bird? Early bird. Flying or invisibility? Definitely Soaring! Favourite food? I’m a Foodie. All kinds.   Thanks Ben for being an important part of Reef Check Australia.     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 Clean up at La Balsa | Mooloolah River Written by; Rachel Mcveigh, RCA scuba volunteer. It was so good to get back in the water with RCA at La Balsa, a river survey dive site. There’s always something to learn from the team leaders about the substrate, impacts, and how to identify rare species.Conditions were good to us on the day and visibility fair, considering the huge storm a couple of days prior in the region. We even saw a stick pipefish (I have never even heard of those before!) and removed over 10kg of rubbish from a short clean up on the way back. Thanks for the laughs as always guys. I love being a part of the Reef Check Australia team, and I look forward to more activities in the new year!     A Talk at Mooloolaba State School Our General Manager, Jodi Salmond, was invited back to her old primary school last month to talk to year 6 students about work in the environmental sector, and to how best to align their futures with their current goals. 'It was a beautiful experience to be able to give back to the school that kicked off my love of the ocean, and my passion for working as a marine biologist. It was great to hear so many awesome stories from the students as to what they are currently doing, and what they want to do in the future. It looks like we have a wonderful array of passionate scientists growing up on the Sunshine Coast!' Thank you to Mooloolaba State School for the invitation and for fostering such environmental stewardship in the next generation.     North Queensland Bowen Beach Clean Up & Citizen Science Surveys On Saturday December 5 a band of willing citizen scientists joined forces at Rose Bay in Bowen for a collection of citizen science activities to help the local environment. Co-led by Reef Check Ambassadors and Ngaro Traditional Owners Lynndel and Milda Oui, volunteers participated in a number of beach and in water activities collecting data for a range of citizen science programs. As part of the Reef Check Ambassador program we try to inspire ambassadors to lead projects and activities in their local area. On this occasion, as part of Reef Check’s Whitsundays Citizen Science Project, we are specifically trying to engage and support Traditional Owners to learn about the Reef and get involved in actions to support its ongoing health and resilience. In this way we hope to also support and strengthen sea country connections in the region. The event also featured Reef Check Australia GBR Coordinator Nathan Cook and Reef Check Ambassador Nerida Higgins from the Whitsundays as well as local CoralWatch Ambassador Kate Buchanan and some teachers from the local high school. The team of volunteers kicked off by conducting an Australian Microplastics Assessment Program (AUSMAP). This program involves the random selection of locations along a 50m transect at the last high tide mark and sifting the top layer of sand to find 1-5mm plastic pieces. It is pretty cool and we relied on the younger volunteers with good eyesight to find the tiny bits of plastic. Thankfully we didn’t find many. We conducted a Tangaroa Blue clean up along the beach and amongst the rocks. It was hot work and we were thankful for the shade offered by the nearby picnic area. Volunteers sorted and cataloged the rubbish found using Tangaroa Blue’s data collection sheet which allocates rubbish into a variety of categories. All of this information is submitted to Tangaroa Blue’s Australian Marine Debris Initiative database and assists in knowing what the problems are to enable the development of source reduction programs. Toward the end of the event Reef Check Australia GBR Coordinator, Nathan Cook and Reef Check Ambassador Nerida Higgins from the Whitsundays jumped in the water and completed some in water surveys. Nathan completed three Eye on the Reef Reef Health and Impact (RHIS) assessments while Nerida completed a CoralWatch Coral Health survey. All this data feeds into respective databases to help management know about and protect our marine environment.   The Reef Check Australia Whitsundays Citizen Science Project is funded by the partnership between the Australian Government’s Reef Trust and the Great Barrier Reef Foundation     Alma Bay, Magnetic Island gets a clean on a windy Saturday The crew from Reef Check Australia headed to the little alcove that is Alma Bay in Magnetic Island for a beach and underwater clean up. It was an extremely windy Saturday, but that did not stop the volunteers' enthusiasm for some citizen science activities. 13 volunteers ranging in age from 0 (yes, a 10-month-old who admittedly didn’t do much!) to 68 participated in a marine debris clean up on the beach, and 3 hardy scuba divers braved the choppy seas to explore the underwater world for any rubbish. Underwater we found quite a bit of broken glass and not much else, no doubt washed away by the waves and surge. The team also completed a complementary AUSMAP survey on Alma Bay beach. AUSMAP is the Australian Microplastics Assessment Project and is conducted in conjunction with the regular Tangaroa Blue clean up on the adjacent beach. Overall the team collected 4kgs of marine debris, much of it small plastic pieces, clear plastic film, plastic and glass bottles, and cigarette butts. Community engagement and raising awareness is a key component of citizen science activities. It was a busy Saturday at the beach with many visitors who came and chatted to the volunteers about what we were doing and why. It was great to be able to share knowledge and inspire people to look after their own backyard. With all of these events the rubbish was weighed, counted and sorted, and the data submitted to Tangaroa Blue’s Australian Marine Debris Initiative (AMDI) database. By processing the data this way we can determine the primary contributors to the rubbish we find and look at source reduction programs to stop it getting into our natural ecosystems in the first place.   These clean ups were part of the @reefclean project, funded by the Australian Government’s Reef Trust and delivered by @tangaroablue Foundation and a number of partner organisations including Reef Check Australia      Brain Food Reviews and details on books, documentaries, and podcasts that we have come across, & wanted to share. Books   The Overstory | By Richard Powers Shortlisted for the Man Booker in 2018, The Overstory is a brilliant and passionate book about humans and their relationship to trees and the natural environment. - Read more   Documentaries/Films  Mission Blue | Sylvia Earle Feature documentary about legendary oceanographer, marine biologist, environmentalist and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Sylvia Earle , and her campaign to create a global network of protected marine sanctuaries. Watch now on Netflix   Podcast   The Regenerative Journey | Charlie Arnott The Regenerative Journey podcast is a must for anyone who is curious about regenerative agriculture and the wide ranging and significant benefits of its adoption and practice, not just for farming communities but also for anyone who eats food and cares for the planet! Available on Spotify.   Current Coral Affairs Check out some of the latest news and research about our ocean:   After 20 years of research and lobbying efforts, the Marine Megafauna Foundation (MMF) is thrilled to announce a major legislative victory for ocean life in Mozambique. - Read more      Partying dolphins and rare sea slug among 2020 highlights in UK seas. - Read more     Researchers exploring the depths of the northern Great Barrier Reef have found a rare species of "walking" fish never before recorded in Australian waters. - Read more   Get with the Program Here's what we've got coming up in the next few weeks, keep checking the website for more updates.    Saturday, 30 January 2021: Clean-up for the Hatchlings Wednesday, 3 - 7 March 2021: Citizen Science & leadership workshop - Orpheus Island More exciting events are being planned for 2021....stay tuned and keep an eye on our socials & events pages to keep up-to-date 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.    Make a Donation    
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Around the Reef - Reef Check Australia - December Update

December 10, 2020
Dear Friend of Reef Check Australia -  Hello Reef Check Australia members, volunteers, friends, supporters, partners, and all-round awesome humans. And just like that… it's December!  For a year that was full of surprises, it went surprisingly fast. Thanks for hanging around.  We appreciate it!  Following on from our last Action of the Month, we want to continue the ‘Re’ theme into our next Action of the Month for December; the season for giving.  A season for gratitude, support, appreciation, and togetherness. Let's be honest, It's not limited to this month, obviously, but it's a nice reminder of what Christmas is all about.  So as we move quickly into the silly season, we wish to reflect on what was accomplished as a team, and to take this opportunity to say THANK YOU to each and every one of you, and give you a quick RE-cap of what we have been up to for the year that was 2020…. Covid hit us hard. Harder than we expected it could, however, the experience has allowed us to RE-flect and adapt, and has shown that together, as a community we are RE-silient, and that with all hands on deck, we can, do, and will continue to make a difference for our reefs and oceans.This year we RE-ally focused on developing new partnerships and nurturing existing connections with our volunteers, supporters, and staff, enabling us to expand our current activities, despite the overwhelming times that Covid has gifted us with.  We have taken time to RE-ach out, RE-flect, and RE-connect; with ourselves, with our teams, and with the world around us.  We have streamlined processes to allow us to continue with our vital reef health monitoring, training, and community engagement more effectively, which has, in turn, allowed us to increase our impact as a group, and as individuals, working together for a stronger planet. We conducted over 125 surveys during the year, an area spanning 50,000m2 of reef.  We ran and joined in more than 15 clean up activities within Queensland, pulling in more than a tonne of debris from above and below the water (combined).  We trained over 60 new volunteers in SCUBA and Ambassador training and manned over 35 stalls at a variety of events, whilst following all restrictions put in place due to covid.  This is all only made possible due to all of you.  So from the bottom of our hearts, we thank you.  Thank you to old and new supporters, to our volunteers, to the friends, family, and coworkers that lent a hand, and to those who worked tirelessly to make sure we were able to complete tasks needed to be completed, and that they were completed safely. Thank you to the individuals and businesses who have come on board throughout the year.  We applaud your willingness to support your local reef charity and we thank you for your ongoing support in such a crazy time!This month's action of the month is all about giving.  Whether that be a kind word, a handwritten card, an anonymous gift, quality time with a friend, family, or stranger, or the gift of shared experiences. Be kind to those around you; the attendant helping you shop last minute, your friends family and neighbors, your coworkers.. everyone. You never know just how much the next person you smile at might need it. For our giving month, we wish to showcase some of the awesome brands, groups, businesses, and individuals working together to create a change in the world around us. So make sure to check out the recommendations from our staff and volunteers on their favourite things below, and on our social media channels. If you are looking for something a little different this year, think about giving an experience rather than a physical gift. We have some beautiful experiences and events to share, so make sure to check them out!If physical gifts are more your style, think about showing your appreciation of a fellow amazing human this year by going local.  Everyone is doing it tough.  How can we support as many locals as possible?  Let's support local businesses (wherever ‘local’ is for you!) this Christmas, and beyond.For some recommendations of local businesses, we like to support, check out this special SILLY SEASON edition of the Enews, the last for 2020!And once again, in case you missed it… THANK YOU. For your kindness, your support, your shares, your donations, and your awesomeness.  Now sit back, relax, and see you in the new year!  Wishing you a very Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year   from all the team at Reef Check Australia    This months email includes: Action of the Month: Embrace the Gift of Giving Coral Spawning on GBR Stewardship Report Launch Supporting Traditional Owners in the Whitsundays Have your say on EPA Getting to know our volunteers News from the Field Brain Food Current Coral Affairs Get With the Program Embrace the Gift of Giving Christmas carols are playing, Santa is popping up all over the place and the kids (and adults) are getting excited for that special day. So Reef Check Australia is making the whole of December a 'Month of Giving' and asking you to 'Embrace the Gift of Giving'. We have asked some of our lovely volunteers and staff for recommendations on local businesses that are doing great things, by creating products and experiences that are sustainable and environmentally friendly. It's 2020....it's been a huge year of change.....so let's do something different this year and shop with care and mindfulness.   Want to get yourself decked out in all your favorite Reef Check Australia gear this Christmas?  We have the PERFECT gift from Santa, for yourself and your loved ones- from Adopt a Reef, T-shirts, Books, REEFSearch Kits, and reusable coffee cups to stocking stuffers like Tote Bags and mask straps.  Oh, so many options!  Pop on over to the Sea Store for all your reef inspired needs! for something a little different... how about checking out our ADOPT A REEF program: Adopt a Reef Get your orders in by December 15th and we will make sure it is on its way to you for Christmas!!   Check out what else we came up with below;   Our first Christmas gift are these absolutely amazing Reef Check Australia Ocean Art Naomi cards! Sunshine Coast local Ocean Art Naomi has created these beautiful Christmas cards so you can help Save Our Reefs! These cards are a great way to support local and help spread the Reef Check Australia message! With all profits going directly to us to help #saveourreefs!! Head on over to Ocean Art Naomi   We are so stoked to introduce you to our second support local christmas ideas- Clayed Coral. Handcrafted on the Sunshine Coast this amazing reef inspired jewellery brand has been a HUGE support to Reef Check Australia the past year. Donating 10% of all profits to our cause, buying from Clayed Coral 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 Clayed Coral to get your hands on a pair of these beautiful, sustainable earrings.   Lush Mala Beads have been a long term supporter of Reef Check Australia, and our most recent collaboration is for some mermaid malas! The Mermaid Mala was born from the acknowledgment 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   We call it our Coastal Scrunchie and Stud pack and 20% is donated to Reef Check Australia. At Bloom Sustainable Reusable Beautiful we create sustainable scrunchies, using upcycled fabric instead of contributing to the mass production of new fabrics. By upcycling fabric we are able to give back to our community through making purchases at stores such as the Salvation Army, Lifeline and other recognised charity stores. We pride ourselves in collaborating with other small business and organisations here on the Coast to support and encourage one another. We have recently collaborated with Clayed Coral and the Coolum Surf woman of the year, Jessica Appel. Head over to Bloom Sustainable Lifestyle and check out our new range of scrunchies including Christmas stock.   Next, we want to share with you these absolutely gorgeous Australiana books! From Warragul, the whale and Tasman the turtle to Loretta lorikeet who wears high heels upon her feet, these stunning books are all about Fun, Friendship, and Discovery. 'Join a myriad of mischievous characters in the Bush, the Rainforest, the Desert, and the Oceans of Australia, in these beautifully illustrated adventures. The fun-filled rhyming stories have been favourites in young readers’ bookshelves for more than twenty years!' “Life’s an adventure from beginning to end, and is always more fun to share with a friend.” Happy reading! Check them out here: Simon Books.com   What does Christmas feel like to you? For some, it may be snow, hot choccies and a good warm blanket by the fire. For others (cough Australians cough) it's sipping on a beer by the beach, cranking up the barbie, and cooking up a Chrissy feed! Here at Reef Check Australia we know that if you don’t have a beer from Your Mates Brewing in your hand - you’re doing it all wrong!! Based on the Sunnycoast Your Mates Brewhouse sells epics beers with a simple vision in mind - mateship, inclusiveness, and sustainability. Your Mates Brewing 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 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 them out here Your Mates Brewhouse   Saltwater Eco Tours. Spoil your loved ones with a unique experience this Christmas with a Saltwater Eco Tours Cultural Tour &/or Sunset Tour! The crew at Saltwater Eco Tours have been friends and supporters of Reef Check Australia for a long time now, and we absolutely LOVE checking out their tours! Slowly gliding along the waters for a sunset and a story is a beautiful way to wind down and celebrate the day. We think a Saltwater Eco Tours experience is the perfect way to create memories, plus an opportunity to support a small, local business. Head on over to Saltwater Eco Tours to purchase a voucher or get in touch for more information.   Reef Check Australia will be celebrating the end of 2020 and the start of 2021 at THRIVE this year, as the charity of choice for this collaborative local event, designed to bring life, love and laughter to a very challenging year for all. Family friendly, and full of amazingness designed to ignite your senses, THRIVE invites everyone for an epic gathering of community with heartfelt sharing of Live Music, Dance, Yoga, Spoken Word Poetry, Comedy, Art, Kids Entertainment & Heaps More. Its been a big year for everybody and a massive change in our lifestyle overall. This new paradigm shift has allowed us to reflect on the things that we want to align with heading into the new year and the future. Its time to THRIVE!! Keen to join? Maximum of 500 tickets available, so get in quick! Head on over to: Thrive 2021 NYE Experience for full details, and for ticket links.   Have you ever wanted to look like a whale shark? Or a tiger shark? what about a swordfish? Well, here is your chance! For our VOLUNTEER PICK for Christmas and beyond, we want to share WATERLUST. Vibrant, environmentally responsible apparel that visually represents 11 (and growing) conservation topics, empowering you to use what you wear as a fun and functional science communication tool. For each design, they donate 10% of profits to leading research & education organisations and use their expert knowledge to guide behavioral change recommendations. We have been IN LOVE with Waterlust's items for years now, showcasing their super cool designs wherever we go. NOW YOU can fall in love too... Head on over to their website using this unique Reef Check Australia link: Waterlust Online And you too can look like the gorgeous marine critter you always wanted to be!   There are so many other groups that help out Reef Check Australia. Check them out on our Social media accounts to learn more.   Coral Spawning on GBR! One of our Reef Check Australia team was lucky enough to head to the Whitsundays last month, to take part in the collaborative Boast4Corals Project. A Great Barrier Reef Foundation-supported project as a part of the #ReefIslandsInitiative is underway. Working with the Australian Institute of Marine Science and Peter Harrison and the team from Southern Cross University, and so many local operators! Massive shout out to Ocean Rafting, Thundercats, and Tornado for coming out to learn all about the spawning, for the vessel support, and for being the A team for helping capture all these little babies! It was super exciting to be a part of this project, and I am truly grateful for the opportunity. Such a great team to be working with! Thanks to Science Under Sail and Kiarna for being the support vessel and my home for the duration of the trip! Make sure to check out our film recommendation in the 'Brain Food' section below to watch ABC's live stream coral spawning event (Reef Live) direct from the GBR this year.     Healthy Rivers to Reef Partnership | Stewardship Report Launch, Mackay Reef Check Australia and Reef Ecologic partners The Mackay-Whitsunday-Isaac Healthy Rivers to Reef Partnership (HR2RP) recently launched their stewardship report celebrating sustainability initiatives and stories of stewardship enacted in the Mackay, Isaac, and Whitsunday region. This report features organisations, individuals, local businesses, and community organisations with the aim to improve our environment, and importantly, our communities' waterway health. A number of Reef Check Australia Ambassadors and Surveyors and Reef Ecologic staff feature in some fantastic projects highlighted in this report so you can check it out free online at Healthy Rivers to Reef. We look forward to continuing our collaboration and partnership with the Healthy Rivers to Reef team in the GBR region!   Reef Check & Reef Ecologic Supporting Traditional Owners in the Whitsundays Traditional Owners along the Queensland coast possess important sea-country connections with the Great Barrier Reef. With a history spanning thousands of years, many Traditional Owners hold knowledge and wisdom about how we can best live sustainably with our natural environments. As part of our Citizen Science Project, Reef Check Australia is working with Ngaro Traditional Owners to help improve and revitalise some of those sea-country connections. Australia's history and treatment of some Aboriginal groups forced many off their land resulting in a broken bond with their ‘country’. Recently, two Ngaro Traditional Owners from Bowen, Lynndel, and Milda Oui graduated as part of the Reef Check Australia Ambassador program. In this program community members learn about the Reef, threats to it, and ways we can all help support its ongoing health and resilience. As part of the program, graduates are expected and encouraged to lead and drive environmental initiatives and raise awareness in their community. As part of the training, Lynndel and Milda joined RCA on a 3 day trip in the Whitsunday Islands learning a range of citizen science activities. “The first time we traveled out ‘on-country’, I did get emotional,” Lynndel said.”It was a special feeling for me. Being in the water, just to look at the reef, the damage that has been done, and to see new life that is settling there. That was really exciting. I am walking away knowing a lot more about [the reef]. I definitely want to come back”. During the three days, Lynndel and Milda learned about different citizen science methods and techniques including Eye on the Reef Rapid monitoring survey methods, CoralWatch Coral Health surveys, and the Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef’s Great Reef Census. All this data feeds into respective databases to help management know about and protect our marine environment. Recently, Lynndel’s daughter Milda, a 15-year-old student from Bowen High School joined another expedition with project partner Reef Ecologic to undertake some monitoring and maintenance of their active reef restoration and helped restock their coral nurseries at two locations in the Whitsundays. “This trip was great because I recently became a Reef Check Ambassador and took a trip out on-country in the Whitsundays. On this trip it was great to learn about different methods to help protect our oceans” Milda said. “The best part about this trip has been being in the water because I love the ocean. I just want to stay there. I really enjoyed helping to put the corals in the discs and the ropes as part of the restoration activities to make coral nurseries and I look forward to sharing some of my experience with my family and friends when I get home” The hope is that by supporting local Traditional Owners to develop stronger sea-country connections and learn techniques to monitor marine habitats, they may be able to play a more active role in managing these important environments.   The Reef Check Australia Whitsundays Citizen Science Project is funded by the partnership between the Australian Government’s Reef Trust and the Great Barrier Reef Foundation   Have YOUR say on Expanded Polystyrene (EPA) Head over to haveyoursay.des.qld.gov.au and let the Qld government know whether expanded polystyrene containers and cups should also be banned along with other single-use plastics. These products break down into tiny bits that float around on the surface of the ocean and look like food for plankton feeders. Like other plastics, these are ingested by and cause harm to marine life. We need everyone to say YES, include them in the single-use plastic ban. The environment will thank you. Survey available till Friday 15th January 2021, so get in quick.   Getting to Know our Volunteers at Reef Check Australia | Elly Pratt Elly Pratt works for Healthy Rivers to Reef Partnership ''I grew up on a farm in rural South Australia and have been back and forward between QLD and SA since. I have a Bachelor of Science (Marine Biology Honours) with a PhD in dolphin genomics. I now work for the Healthy Rivers to Reef Partnership in the Whitsundays as the marine technical officer, helping to produce an annual report card on the health of the reef and local waterways. The RCA training weekend was an incredible opportunity to meet other locals that are passionate about the Reef and its protection. It was inspiring to hear about all of the volunteer work that people are involved in and gave me hope for the Reef’s future. It was also great to refresh my coral species ID knowledge that I have let slip over the last few years, and a wonderful excuse to get out diving on the Reef. As I was on the trip representing the Healthy Rivers to Reef Partnership, I also found that I learned a great deal about Reef Check Australia and their methods, which has inspired me to be a stronger advocate for citizen science in the NRM sphere.   Where are you from? Originally rural South Australia, now living in Airlie Beach, QLD. What motivated you to join our team? I wanted to learn more about the Reef Check data collection methods and citizen science generally (as I was admittedly, previously a bit of a cit sci skeptic). I can now use this knowledge to advocate for the use of Reef Check (and other cit sci) data in our report card. What project are you planning on focusing on?  I’m hoping to stay involved in Reef Check events around the Whitsundays and Townsville including clean ups and surveys, as well as advocating for Reef Check in my industry. What animal do you think best represents you? A bear - generous and protective (according to an online quiz).  Night owl or early bird? Early bird - but only recently. Flying or invisibility? Flying. Favourite food? Mango - 99% of the reason I moved back to NQ Favourite Marine animal?  Orca - absolutely incredible intellect  Thanks Elly for being an important part of Reef Check Australia.     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   Surveys at Narrowneck Artificial Reef, and Wavebreak Island After receiving notice of a sudden improvement in conditions, a small team jumped at the chance to head out to Narrowneck Artificial Reef and Wavebreak Island to undertake some surveys. The site at Narrowneck is shallow and very close to the surf zone, so a small swell (or zero) is required for this site. The artificial reef supports an interesting diversity of algae and sponges and is very popular with Black Feather Stars. It was also home to several wobbegong sharks and one really interesting sea star in a hurry transiting the seafloor. Whilst waiting for the other divers on the boat we were treated to a visit by a pod of playful dolphins, making the day even more awesome. We headed back into the seaway just before the winds increased and completed our survey at Wavebreak Island. This site is rock scree with scattered sponges and although the current was still a bit challenging we did find several nudibranchs, filefish, and a moray eel, with some very curious bream back at the start of the transect.   Our thanks to Gold Coast City Council and Gold Coast Dive Adventures for making these surveys possible.   Clean Up | Bulcock Beach, Caloundra Last month a group of Reef Checkers undertook a clean-up dive along the Bulcock Beach Esplanade at Caloundra. The day was a gorgeous clear and sunny day, and the team met up nice and early to beat the crowds getting ready for a long weekend. As the team enjoyed the lovely warming sunshine, Julie gave a thorough but very informative dive brief. The diving team of Julie, Jodi, Chris, Tany, and I headed down the handful of steps for an easy entry into the flat, calm waters, with Terry (on surface-watch and PR duties) strolling along the Esplanade above, and a lovely member of the first aid team from Sunshine Coast First Aid Volunteers was there to make sure we enjoyed a safe start to the long weekend. The team collected rubbish down the length of the 100m transect line, collecting a selection of fishing debris, and land-based items including a brand new iPhone! All in all a lovely, relaxing, and productive dive, and certainly one that all could join in and feel that they made a worthwhile contribution. Massive thank you to my fellow divers, to the fishermen and passersby for their interest and care in what we were doing, to Julie for organising the event, and to Terry for keeping an eye on us. Big congrats to Chris for the completion of his Marine Science degree (awesome!) and Tany for completing her first Reef Check survey dive! And Jodi- nice dive knife! Written By Peter Nicholls, RCA Scuba surveyor.   This project is funded by Healthy Land and Water (HLW) through the Australian Government National Landcare Program.   Reef Check Australia at Wynnum Fringe Festival Brendan and Marzia joined forces last month to attend the Wynnum Fringe Festival. This is what Marzia, RCA SCUBA volunteer had to say! 'It was great connecting with our local community and to collaborate with OzFish to educate and raise awareness about how awesome Moreton Bay is, and to showcase the oh so many groups working to preserve/restore its biodiversity'.      North Queensland Tangaroa Blue ReefClean at Fitzroy Island The team from Reef Check Australia took to the shores of Fitzroy Island offshore from Cairns in Far North Queensland as part of our collaboration with Tangaroa Blue's ReefClean project. GBR Coordinator Nathan Cook, Reef Check Surveyors Mila Grinblat and Jules Lim were joined by new RCA ambassador Romy Levin for an underwater and a beach clean up on the beautiful continental island. The team conducted one underwater clean up focusing on areas under boat moorings where rubbish is usually found. Glass bottles, clothes, and fishing line topped the list of items as well as a mask and snorkel (not surprising) and a rug. Sometimes the team decided to leave some rubbish behind because it was either too heavy or, like the breeze block we found, it had marine life growing on it. We complemented the underwater clean up with a land-based clean up along Welcome Bay. Here the team was joined by the Activities Coordinator from Fitzroy Island, Rowena Johnson. All up we collected around 20kgs of trash underwater and another 3 kgs of rubbish along the beach.   The Reefclean project is funded by the Australian Government’s Reef Trust and delivered by Tangaroa Blue Foundation and a number of partner organisations including Reef Check Australia   Heron Island | Clean up Activities Last month Reef Check Australia teams had the opportunity to visit Heron Island, approximately 80km off the coast of Gladstone. A total of 17 underwater impact surveys were conducted along with an island-wide beach clean-up and an additional sweep for discarded researcher debris in the designated research zone of the island. We were assisted by an enthusiastic team of volunteers and guests from the resort and research station ranging from Cooktown to Toowoomba. The team also conducted a source reduction seminar on marine debris, common items found on the island (microplastics), how this can affect resident birds and turtles, and what people can do to reduce their reliance on and use of plastic. Similar to previous years the team found low levels of marine debris (yay!) but noticed some microplastics along the beach in addition to old and no longer utilised research equipment. We also found a dislodged and washed up shark tag logger used by scientists to collect valuable information about the movement patterns of friendly local sharks. This was returned to the research station staff to reinstall and initial stages to remove old researcher debris have been implemented.   These clean-ups were part of the Reef Clean project, funded by the Australian Government’s Reef Trust and delivered by Tangaroa Blue Foundation and a number of partner organisations including Reef Check Australia.   Offshore Townsville | Surveys Winds finally abated along the Queensland coast allowing our team of volunteers to head to one of our favourite survey sites. John Brewer Reef, 50NM offshore from Townsville is one of the best reefs our team has dived at. Home to the recently installed Museum of Underwater Art, Reef Check Australia has two permanent transects on the adjacent reef. Volunteers Maddy Hunt and trainee Ingrid Nashwitz joined GBR Coordinator Nathan Cook for two surveys at the site. Dominated by plating and branching Acropoorid spp corals the site is a wonderful representation of a healthy reef. At least on the reef flat. Disturbances from crown-of-thorns starfish have compromised its health deeper and at other locations across John Brewer highlighting the diversity that exists across the GBR. The team completed Reef Check Surveys, 6 GBRMPA Reef Health and Impact Surveys and, 2 CoralWatch coral health surveys, and one Great Barrier Reef Census survey in partnership with the Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef.   These surveys were completed as part of Reef Ecologic’s Integrated Coral Reef Citizen Science Program is funded by the partnership between the Australian Government’s Reef Trust and the Great Barrier Reef Foundation. Read more at ReefEcologic.     Brain Food Reviews and details on books, documentaries, and podcasts that we have come across, & wanted to share. Books   Follow the Moon Home | By Philippe Cousteau & Deborah Hopkinson | (A Children's book) A triumphant story of environmental activism, community, and friendship: Acclaimed activist Philippe Cousteau and renowned author Deborah Hopkinson team up to offer a story of the powerful difference young people can make in the world. Meet Viv, who has a new home and a new school by the sea, and follow her as she finds her way in a new place and helps bring together a whole community to save the sea turtles of the South Carolina coast.   Documentaries/Films  Reef Live | ABC iView In a recent live event from the Great Barrier Reef, witness one of the world's greatest natural spectacles - the annual phenomenon of the majestic mass coral spawn. Hosted by Hamish Macdonald, Brooke Satchwell and Dr Jordan Nguyen. Watch now on ABC iView   Podcast   Dare to Lead | Brene Brown Conversations with change-catalysts, culture-shifters, and more than a few troublemakers who are innovating, creating and daring to lead. A really great podcast to check out. Available on Spotify.   Current Coral Affairs Check out some of the latest news and research about our ocean:   Great Barrier Reef's world-first coral IVF gets help from the Whitsunday tourism industry. - Read more      Scientists have captured rare footage of a teeny, tiny squid swimming near the Great Barrier Reef - Read more     Great Barrier Reef Legacy is working with Traditional Owners, industry and corporate partners, research collaborators, government organisations, and tourism operators, to establish the world's first Living Coral Biobank - Read more   Get with the Program Here's what we've got coming up in the next few weeks, keep checking the website for more updates.    Friday, 11 December 2020: Yoga Under The Sea  Thursday, 31 December 2020: Thrive 2021 NYE Experience Saturday, 30 January 2021: SAVE THE DATE | Clean-up for the Hatchlings  More exciting events are being planned for 2021....stay tuned and keep an eye on our socials & events pages to keep up-to-date 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.    Make a Donation   Copyright © 2020 Reef Check Australia, All rights reserved.
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