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Around the Reef - Reef Check Australia - August 2022

September 05, 2022
Dear {{recipient.first_name_or_friend}}  Our teams have enjoyed the sunny days and been busy doing cleanups and surveys around the Sunshine Coast, in Moreton Bay and around the Great Barrier Reef. This months email includes: Action of the Month: Use your Superannuation for Good News from the Field Brain Food Current Coral Affairs Get With the Program Use your Superannuation for Good Photo by Andre Taissin on Unsplash Your super can make a big difference to the future of our planet; but only if you invest it ethically. By simply (well, kind of simply) switching your Super to an ethical Super, you can have a huge environmental impact by making the switch in just a few minutes. Right now, there's a good chance that all your hard earned super is being invested in direct opposition to your values. 55% of the world's super funds are currently invested in fossil fuels. If you don’t know where yours are invested; there is a good chance yours is too. But you can change that and turn your money into a force for good, you can help both yourself, and the planet. You might feel like your super is one of the many tasks that are just too hard to tackle. Or maybe its something you feel like maybe you don't need to worry about until you retire. But the truth is, we can be and should be in control of our Super. Super funds invest your super savings in businesses with the long-term aim of making your money grow. But many funds choose to invest in really unsustainable industries. Without knowing it, your super could be used to invest in coal, tobacco or nuclear weapons. On the other hand, your super could be used as a force for good – like investing in renewable energy. Super, if invested well, has the power to do a lot of good. So, let's all allocate a little bit of time this month to really look at your Super fund, or funds. Does your investment align with your values? If yes; awesome, great job! If not; think of this as your gentle push to get it on track. Check out this comprehensive blog for more content and assistance in deciding. 1 Million Women 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 Peel Island Clean Up The Reef Check Australia team headed out onto Moreton Bay and over to Peel Island to assess the debris load caused by the March flooding. Continuing bad weather has hampered our attempts to get to site but evidence of flood debris was still observed on the island. The team collected 11.5kgs of rubbish in four hours from an 800m stretch of beach. The debris collected included plant pots, 435 polystyrene pieces, plastic drink bottles, 351 pieces of hard plastic and numerous small pieces of poly pipe. The beach was also littered with large amounts of sea grass which we scoured through finding the small polystyrene balls and small pieces of hard plastic. A big thanks to Tony from Wet Boat Hire who managed to get us ashore without the need to swim. We acknowledge the Quandamooka People, the Traditional Custodians of Moreton Bay and we pay our respects to their elders past, present and emerging. This project has received funding support from the Queensland Government’s Community Sustainability Action grant program. Surveys Mudjimba Island Our teams have completed a couple of recent surveys with distinctly different conditions; 1) A small but committed team headed out to Mudjimba Island on a Saturday afternoon with high hopes of great conditions to complete some surveys. Surface conditions were pleasant, the same cannot be said about the visibility, but we weren't deterred and successfully completed our 2 surveys and were treated to an amazing sunset on the return to port. 2) The Reef Check Australia team took advantage of the glorious conditions that graced us for a few days earlier this month, to head over to Mudjimba Island, off the Sunshine Coast, to conduct annual reef health surveys on one of their sites on the south side of the island. Mudjimba Island sits off the coast of the Sunshine Coast, approximately 4km from the Maroochy river mouth, and less than 1km off the Mudjimba beach shoreline. The island is easily recognised off the sunshine coast coastline, and has its own interesting history. In Kabi Kabi legend, the island is the head of Coolum, after a battle between Ninderry and Coolum over a woman; Maroochy, meant he lost his head to the sea. The water was clear, with the team sighting turtles, wobbegongs, plenty of nudibranchs, cowries, Spanish dancers and high coral cover. This site saw an increase in hard coral and soft coral cover from 2021, and a decrease in the amount of nutrient indicator algae. A higher number of individual coral colonies were impacted by bleaching (the severity), however, the population overall remained low (the extent). Interestingly, target fish were not recorded during this particular survey, although historically, they are recorded here. Reef Check Acknowledge the Kabi Kabi people of the Sunshine Coast, Traditional Custodians of the land and sea country on which these activities took place and we pay our respects to their elders past, present and emerging. These surveys are made possible with the support of the Sunshine Coast Council Environment Levy Grant. St Helena and Green Island Surveys Light winds and acceptable visibility meant it was time to survey St Helena and Green Islands in the beautiful Moreton Bay. Our team braved the chilly water to complete all four surveys. Whilst there were not many invertebrates or molluscs observed and the silt loading was still relatively moderate the team was happy to report that the corals looked very healthy with very few impacts observed. We acknowledge the Quandamooka People, the Traditional Custodians of Moreton Bay and we pay our respects to their elders past, present and emerging. These surveys are made possible by the support of Port of Brisbane. Your Mates Brewing Fundraiser A group of volunteers helped out with another fundraising raffle at the amazing Your Mates Brewery. Big congratulations to our winners and a BIG thanks to Your Mates Brewery for making these events possible. Not only does it raise some funds but it also helps us spread the word on how amazing our reefs are and what people can do to help protect them.  Great Barrier Reef Nelly Bay Clean Up On Sunday, 19th June the Reef Check Australia’s team visited Nelly Bay, Magnetic Island to conduct a marine debris clean up as part of @Tangaroablue’s #reefclean project. We were impressed with the little amount of hard plastics to be found, however most debris were from food and drink items. Underwater we were pleased to find zero marine debris! The @reefclean project is funded by the Australian Government’s Reef Trust and delivered by @tangaroablue Foundation and a number of partner organisations including Reef Check Australia. We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land on where these activities take place, the Wulgurukaba people. We pay our respects to their elders, past, present and emerging and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples living in our community today. Nelly Bay Surveys The RCA Great Barrier Reef team took to the waters of Nelly Bay, Magnetic Island on Sunday 19th June to conduct underwater surveys. We were met with some chilly tropical winter conditions, however some bleaching was still present. A big thank you to our dedicated Reef Check volunteer surveyors, and Pleasure Divers for supplying equipment! Reef Surveys were supported from funding from the Townsville City Council and as part of @ReefEcologic’s Integrated Coral Reef Citizen Science 2.0 Program, funded by the partnership between the Australian Government’s Reef Trust and the Great Barrier Reef Foundation. We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land on where these activities take place, the Wulgurukaba people. We pay our respects to their elders, past, present and emerging and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples living in our community today. Alma Bay Clean Up On Saturday 25 June, Reef Check Australia and 10 wonderful volunteers visited Alma Bay on Magnetic Island for our annual @reefclean project with @tangaroablue. Among the 207 pieces of broken glass we found around the rocks on the beach, we also had a surprise find of an old penny! Hard plastic remnants were the second most common debris found, with 141 pieces found along the 200m beach. The @reefclean project is funded by the Australian Government’s Reef Trust and delivered by @tangaroablue Foundation and a number of partner organisations including Reef Check Australia. We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land on where these activities take place, the Wulgurukaba people. We pay our respects to their elders, past, present and emerging and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples living in our community today. Brain Food Reviews and details on books, documentaries, and podcasts that we have come across, & wanted to share. Podcast: Bioluminescence with Edie Widder If you haven't had time to read her book, now you can just listen to a podcast on her amazing work. Check it out on the Deep Sea Podcast Current Coral Affairs Check out some of the latest news and research about our ocean Greenland Shark found in the Caribbean Even the sharks are getting tired of the cold water. Read more: 9news Perspective | This vegetable garden is 25 feet underwater. Take a look.Just off the coast of Italy, a group of scuba divers are growing basil 25 feet underwater. It's part of a novel type of aquaculture focused on sustainability. Read in The Washington Post: 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 6 August | Gold Coast Whale Festival Come along and see our team at the Gold Coast Whale Festival at John Laws Park Burleigh Heads Tuesday 9 August | Coast to Corals This month Dr Christine Dudgeon will be talking about Leopard Sharks. Head on over to our website to register so that you get the zoom link. 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   Copyright © 2022 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 - July 2022

September 05, 2022
Dear {{recipient.first_name_or_friend}}  The winter chill is in the air but we are hoping that it brings sunny days, light winds and calm seas. We have so much going on with cleanups and surveys and our teams have also been out and about attending events. This months email includes: Action of the Month: Plastic Free July News from the Field Brain Food Current Coral Affairs Get With the Program Plastic Free July  I know we are constantly promoting the idea of refuse, reduce, reuse and recycle, but this month we can all join in this global movement. There are so many options now from reusable bags, keep cups (including larger cups for your smoothies), metal straws, bamboo cutlery, kits containing everything you need that can be carried in your bag, that there are no excuses for using disposable items. It is still  frustrating that some food retailers refuse to fill your keep cup citing non-existent rules. In these cases, do as we do, talk with your feet and refuse to patronise their establishment. Even better, also write them an email explaining why they CAN fill your cup and ask them to update their rules. During our clean up activities we are still collecting so much plastic waste, mostly remnants from larger items.  Fortunately the introduction of the 10c refund scheme has reduced the number of plastic bottles being collected. We can all make a difference by ensuring that when it is unavoidable to purchase items in plastic that the plastic is properly disposed of in our recycling bins. Better still, try to find suppliers that don't use plastic: use mesh bags for your fruit and veggies; buy your bread from a baker who puts it in a paper bag or your container; get your butcher to put the meat in your container; the list goes on. Whilst it may seem like a daunting task to completely remove plastic from our lives, remember that every small action that you take can have a big impact on our environment.  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 Coolum Beach Clean Up Speaking of plastic remnants, a team of amazing volunteers scoured the beaches at Coolum and removed an astounding amount of plastic pieces. These also included tile spacers (how do these end up in the ocean?) and lollypop and cotton bud sticks. LEAF Festival On Sunday 5 June, Reef Check attended the annual Logan Eco Action Festival. Attracting huge crowds, the festival celebrated our environment while educating individuals how we can all make more sustainable choices in our everyday lives. The festival was a great opportunity to showcase the work of our incredible volunteers, engage with the community about the coral reefs of Moreton Bay and highlight how small choices can have a big impact on the health of our reef.  A big shout out to our amazing volunteers Adrienne Soteriou and Colin Scobie for attending this event. Our participation at this event is made possible by support from the Port of Brisbane.  Your Mates Brewing Fundraiser A group of volunteers helped out with another fundraising raffle at the amazing Your Mates Brewery. Big congratulations to our winners and a BIG thanks to Your Mates Brewery for making these events possible. Not only does it raise some funds but it also helps us spread the word on how amazing our reefs are and what people can do to help protect them.  Great Barrier Reef Luncheon Bay Clean Up On a beautiful Saturday, Reef Check Australia headed out to Ngaro country in the Whitsundays region of the Great Barrier Reef. With 21 passionate and enthusiastic people on board we headed to the northern beaches of Hook Island to undertake marine debris cleanup as part of Tangaroa Blue‘s reef clean event. Being a north facing beach in Luncheon Bay, there wasn’t a great deal of visible rubbish that could be seen on arrival. But as is often the case when you look a bit closer there are lots of small bits of debris found amongst the coral rubble and sand and blown up into the trees that back onto the beach. At the same time the dive team hit the water to see what they could find sunken in the reefs of Luncheon Bay. There was a bit of a current which made the dive a little more challenging than usual and thankfully the divers did not find a lot of rubbish under the water. A little bit of fishing line and a broken mooring line tag were the only things that were found. All in all there wasn’t a lot of rubbish which is to be expected in the northern bays of these islands. But the project is part of a longer term Reef wide monitoring effort. All of the data ends up in the Australian Marine Debris Initiative database (AMDI). This database provides important information about what rubbish is being found where and allows researchers and manages the opportunity to look at source reduction programs to prevent rubbish like this reaching the marine environment in the first place. A big thanks to everybody who donated time on their Saturday to come and not only enjoy the magic of the Great Barrier Reef but also help us make a difference for our marine environment. The @reefclean project is funded by the Australian Government’s Reef Trust and delivered by @tangaroablue Foundation and a number of partner organisations including Reef Check Australia. Reef Check Acknowledge the Ngaro people of the Whitsundays as the Traditional Owners of the land and sea country where these activities took place and we pay our respects to their elders past, present and emerging. Low Isles Clean Up Team @reefcheckaustralia visited Low Isles just 15km off the coast of Port Douglas recently to do our annual underwater clean up as part of @tangaroablue's #reefclean project. The most interesting find during this cleanup was a broom. Our diver, Shari, tested it's flying capabilities out underwater but concluded it was too waterlogged! The @reefclean project is funded by the Australian Government’s Reef Trust and delivered by @tangaroablue Foundation and a number of partner organisations including Reef Check Australia. Thank you also to the Quicksilver crew for hosting and taking such good care of our team on their sailing catamaran, Wavedancer and our team of dedicated volunteers without which these trips would not be possible. Brain Food Reviews and details on books, documentaries, and podcasts that we have come across, & wanted to share.   On Eating Meat by Matthew Evans This book is an interesting read that provides information and a balanced view on the ethics and economics of how societies produce and eat animal products on a small and large scale. The author is a food critic/chef turned small scale farmer/restauranteur and provides food for thought for vegans, vegetarians and carnivores alike. Current Coral Affairs Check out some of the latest news and research about our ocean Mystery condition eating turtle shells A mystery disease eating away at green sea turtle shells has been discovered by researchers on Queensland's Fraser Coast. Read in: ABC News Plastic found inside people Another good reason to ditch the plastic; Plastic has been discovered in the lungs of living people. Read more in the Guardian   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 12 July | Coast to Corals This month Melissa Staines will be talking about the effects of temperature on the sex of turtle hatchlings. Head on over to our website to register so that you get the zoom link. Sunday July 24| Sundays with Your Mates Our friends at Your Mates Brewery are running Sundays with Your Mates. Come along for some great food (who doesn't love a chicken snitty), tasty beverages, awesome local tunes and pick up a raffle ticket to win some great prizes and support Reef Check.   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   Copyright © 2022 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 2022

September 05, 2022
Dear {{recipient.first_name_or_friend}}  Winter already! And is this rain ever going to stop? Despite the challenges we have managed to get in a couple of surveys and cleanups along with some further fundraising. This months email includes: Action of the Month: Celebrate the World Around Us News from the Field Brain Food Current Coral Affairs Get With the Program Celebrate the World Around Us  As the end of the financial year fast approaches and everything speeds up, we want to give everyone a simple reminder to slow down and celebrate the world around you. So this month, make sure to take some time out amongst the craziness! Stand in the sun, walk barefoot, hug a tree, or adopt a reef! Enjoy the magic of the world around you, and celebrate it! This month brings with it World Oceans Day and World Environment Day. How will you celebrate the world above and below the water? Maybe you have been planning an adventure, but for one reason or another it keeps getting bumped due to the busy-ness of life? Well, this is the sign you are looking for; the push, the gentle nudge towards a nature-based adventure, to immersing yourself in the natural world and to give back to the mother earth that has gifted us all so much. And as the Financial year comes to a close, and the rush to the shops to buy anything and everything at ‘rock bottom prices’ we want to challenge you to stop and think about your purchase before you make it. And if you do have the ability to donate to your favourite cause (that’s us, right?) please do. Every little bit helps; a one off donation, or monthly giving. Or for a truly unique offer… adopt a reef 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. 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 Seaway Clean Up A small but dedicated team conducted 2 cleanups within the Gold Coast Seaway and were astounded by the amount of fishing line retrieved, considering a large scale clean up had recently taken place. Unfortunately the popularity of this area means it will be an ongoing issue but the area is there for all to share, whatever your hobby. The good news is that there was very little other debris. Gold Coast Seaway Surveys Our team took advantage of favourable condition reports and headed to the seaway to conduct our annual surveys. We were pleasantly surprised by the conditions, however noted that sessile life on the benthos was largely missing, with very few hydroids, sponges or soft corals observed. The fish life however still appeared as abundant as usual with lots of Luderick, Silver Bream, Sweetlips, small Lionfish and moray eels observed. These surveys are made possible by the support of City of Gold Coast.   Your Mates Brewing Fundraiser We were super happy to have another fundraising raffle at the amazing Your Mates Brewery and the atmosphere was really pumping, so many people, so much noise and oh so many raffle tickets sold. Big congratulations to our winners and a BIG thanks to Your Mates Brewery for making these events possible. Not only does it raise some funds but it also helps us spread the word on how amazing our reefs are and what people can do to help protect them.  Nurture Festival Our team attended the Nurture Festival on Lake Kawana during May and had an awesome time communicating the importance of looking after our reefs and what a big difference small changes in your habits can make. Great Barrier Reef Hook Island The nearshore reefs of the Whitsunday Islands on Ngaro country in the Great Barrier Reef are home to some really amazing reefs, and a number of Reefs that are still feeling the effects of ex-tropical cyclone Debbie five years ago. We have been conducting Reef Check surveys in this region going back over 20 years. This long-term dataset is really important for highlighting trends and changes in the reef. Our team of Reef Check surveyors took to the waters of Hook Island at a place called Luncheon Bay to undertake an ecological survey of the reef. 100 metre transect line is placed along the bottom and Divers count fish, invertebrates, and measure what is on the bottom to get a sense of the ecological health of the reef. We also measure any Impacts such as coral bleaching or disease or any outbreaks of predators such as crown of thorns starfish. We had a great day as far as the weather was concerned. It was flat and calm and visibility was very good. Over the five years since the cyclone, recovery on these reefs has been very slow. But one of the good things that we noticed during our survey was the prominence of many coral recruits, and signs that, albeit slowly, the reef is starting to recover. The slow recovery might be a sign of the higher sedimentation of nearshore reefs, but it also might be something akin to a new normal where successive warm summers and regular stressors mean that the recovery trajectory is not as rapid as we would like. A big thank you to the Reef Check surveyors Laura Oates, Meg Vassie, Ben Corbishley, and Reef Check Australia team leader Nathan Cook that helped for this event. Reef Check acknowledges the Ngaro people of the Whitsundays as the Traditional Owners of the land and sea country where these activities took place and we pay our respects to their elders past, present and emerging. Brain Food Reviews and details on books, documentaries, and podcasts that we have come across, & wanted to share. ‘Dark Emu injects a profound authenticity into the conversation about how we Australians understand our continent ... [It is] essential reading for anyone who wants to understand what Australia once was, or what it might yet be if we heed the lessons of long and sophisticated human occupation.’ Judges for 2016 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards (taken from Booktopia)   Current Coral Affairs Check out some of the latest news and research about our ocean Jellyfish still sting when dead Jellyfish tentacles may be able to sting 'thousands of years' after the creature has died Broome surfer Josh Cocking was pulling on his rash vest and about to hit the water when he felt a nasty sting.Read in: ABC News Did you know sponges can bleach as well? Robots have shown scientists the deep shelf reefs off Tasmania — and what was found has disturbed experts. A study by the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) has found bleaching in sea sponges for the first time in Tasmanian waters— and scientists fear it could be another sign we are reaching a "tipping point" in the warming of the Earth. Read now in ABC News   Get with the Program Here's what we've got coming up in the next few weeks, keep checking the website for more updates.  Sunday 5 June | LEAF Come along and say hello to our team at the Logan Eco Action Festival https://www.leafevent.com.au/whats-on/ Tuesday 14 June | Coast to Corals This month Jordan Ivey will be talking about the efforts being made to restore coral reefs. Head on over to our website to register so that you get the zoom link.   Sunday June 12 | Sundays with Your Mates Our friends at Your Mates Brewery are running Sundays with Your Mates. Come along for some great food (who doesn't love a chicken snitty), tasty beverages, awesome local tunes and pick up a raffle ticket to win some great prizes and support Reef Check.   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   Copyright © 2022 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 2022

September 05, 2022
Dear {{recipient.first_name_or_friend}}  It's autumn already and the weather is starting to cool down. We have been out and about doing clean ups (above and below water), hosting stalls, getting in a couple of surveys and doing some fundraising. This months email includes: Action of the Month: Mindful in May News from the Field Brain Food Current Coral Affairs Get With the Program Mindful in May  Friday, May 20th is World Meditation day. The tiny but mighty team at Reef Check Australia believe in each and every one of you, and that together we can and will make a difference for ourselves, each other and the planet. We want to support every individual to become their very best selves. That's why the action of this month is all about mindfulness and meditation. Put simply, mindfulness is the practice of being present. It means sitting in and being aware of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment. It involves acceptance; paying attention to our thoughts and feelings without judging them—without believing, for instance, that there’s a “right” or “wrong” way to think or feel in a given moment. When we practice mindfulness, our thoughts tune into what we’re sensing in the present moment rather than rehashing the past or imagining the future. One way to practice mindfulness is through meditation. Just ten minutes a day can help you offset the impact our technology-driven culture has on our emotional and physical well-being, allowing more relaxation and calm (and less anxiety). Meditation can also be done anywhere, anytime, and needs no equipment. There are plenty of meditation apps out there, including Omvana and Headspace . Or, check out Youtube for one that suits you. World Meditation Day is on May 20th, 2022. Its a call to the world to take time to participate in this millennia-old practice and clear our minds, remembering that we are people first, and workers second. 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 Castaways Clean Up Reef Check Australia joined local community group representatives, locals, and passers-by in late March for an early morning start in an effort to tackle the ongoing marine debris issue, weeks after flooding events sent hundreds of pontoons and other debris out into the ocean, and north onto beaches. Ten volunteers over the span of four hours removed 210kg of polystyrene and concrete found along the beach at Castaways, within the Noosa Regional Council region. The site was selected after feedback from locals walking the beaches every day noticed a large amount of polystyrene accumulating on their beloved beach. Bucket after bucket was filled as volunteers sifted sand, chased waves to remove polystyrene as it washed out to sea, and walked the high tide line to remove each and every bit they could find. Dog walkers returned to our main site with bags filled, making use of the walk to also collect debris along the way. With this huge community support, huge amounts of debris was removed from the beach. Then a few days later, building on the weeks mammoth clean up efforts in the region, Reef Check Australia once again joined local community group representatives, locals, and a myriad of volunteers in an attempt to tackle the ongoing marine debris issue in the region. 13 volunteers over two days worked tirelessly to remove polystyrene pieces along the length of Castaways beach, and along and up to the closest creek. Polystyrene was found along the high tide mark, caught amongst the grass of the dunes, and floating in amongst the pumice stone, making the task harder for volunteers as they sifted and sorted to remove two bags of polystyrene over the course of the two days. Much less in weight than removed the days prior, however no less important, as these small fragments break up into smaller and smaller pieces, becoming a serious ingestion issue for animals. This project has received funding support from the Queensland Government’s Community Sustainability Action grant program.   Clean Up Bulcock Beach Although the visibility was still not amazing, our team was keen to find out how this popular angling location was holding up following the recent intense rainfall and localised flooding. Fishing line dominated the haul again with approximately 500m of fishing line removed, along with a complete rod and reel set up. Fortunately, the amount of general litter was low, although a large stainless-steel table, shopping trolley and A frame sign were observed. These items were too large for our divers to remove and have been left in-situ and reported to local Council. A thick layer of silt covered the substrate and it may be that more items are found once the silt layer disperses. This project has received funding support from the Queensland Government’s Community Sustainability Action grant program. Main Beach and Amity Point Clean Up and Survey The team took our chances with the weather and kept our fingers crossed that the visibility at Amity Point would be good. Arriving onto Stradbroke Island early we had time to undertake a clean up on Main Beach, and so glad we did. There was so much hard plastic. We had just over an hour but only covered 100m of beach and collected 1226 pieces of hard plastic, along with other bits and pieces including polystyrene, bottle tops, confectionery sticks and cigarette butts. Underwater at Amity Point, fishing line still dominates, with much of it tangled around the corals and sponges, making extraction time consuming. It was great to see lots of urchins, healthy corals, lots of fish and big wobbegong sharks all thriving despite the recent floods. Two of our team had never dived at Amity Point before and were amazed at the diversity of marine life. This project has received funding support from the Queensland Government’s Community Sustainability Action grant program.   Underwater Clean Up - Outrigger Club Another day, another clean up. With visibility not so amazing, a small team braved the conditions in the Pumicestone Passage at Caloundra. The site contains an incredible amount of glass bottles, however many of them are currently home to marine organisms which are having a tough time finding a solid substate to cling to. The site is very heavily silted at the moment, with the opening of the new bar appearing to have impacted the current flows in this area. The team did however collect a large number of glass bottles with no organisms growing on them, along with hundreds of metres of fishing line. This project has received funding support from the Queensland Government’s Community Sustainability Action grant program. Survey Dive - Inner Gneerings On a day when we wished the weather had read the forecast, we headed out to the Inner Gneerings in an attempt to finally get some surveys done. After enduring lumpy surface conditions the team descended into green water, but at least it was nicer down there than up on the surface. It was lovely to see that the corals were largely healthy, with only some minor disease and the site was free from asparagopsis. Unfortunately surface conditions worsened and we were forced back to port after only one dive. These surveys are made possible thanks to the Sunshine Coast Council Environment Levy Grant. UQ Biodiversity Roadshow Our team joined the UQ Biodiversity Roadshow at Manly on a less than ideal day. The frequent downpours meant that the public numbers were low, but those that were in attendance made up for it with enthusiasm about all things marine. The UQ centre for Marine Science hosted a mud flat walk and a large group of people ventured out onto Moreton Bay in the Moreton Bay Education Centre boat to conduct some plankton netting and inspect the results. Attendance at this project is thanks to funding from the Port of Brisbane.   Brain Food Reviews and details on books, documentaries, and podcasts that we have come across, & wanted to share. The Future We Choose - Surviving the Climate Crisis by Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac An interesting read on the development of the Paris Agreement and insights into what we all can do to help the world reduce emissions. Chapter three is an awesome Utopian look at the world in 2050 if we take action and halve our emissions every decade.   Current Coral Affairs Check out some of the latest news and research about our ocean and waste reduction innovations: Coral Finder Book Launch - May 20 Colleagues, Comrades and Coral Reeferers in the vicinity of Townsville! Please join us for a brief celebration and refreshments as we launch the 2022 edition of Coral Finder (it tracks the science!) and the Coral Reefs: A Natural History hosted by Mary Who? Bookshop. Having been some months in preparation, a splendid time is guaranteed for all. Russell How seahorses are a fish but also so un-fish-like "The seahorse is a very unusual animal. Sure, it's a fish, but it's also so un-fish-like. Along with its horse-shaped head, it has eyes like a chameleon that can move independently and a prehensile tail that, similar to a hand, can grip objects. But as we grow our understanding of these unique creatures, the data is also making us realize that seahorses need our help. Leading to a fact for certain, it's time we start paying more attention to seahorses".Read in National Geographic: Did you know there could be endangered sharks in your pet food? Check it out on facebook Get with the Program Here's what we've got coming up in the next few weeks, keep checking the website for more updates.  May 7 | Nurture Festival A fun festival of music, creativity and activities for families and kids of all ages to connect with community organisations on the Sunshine Coast. Reef Check Australia are one of those community groups who will be there. Visit https://www.nurturefestival.com.au to get your tickets, which by the way are only $5.00, what a bargain. Tuesday 10 May | Coast to Corals This month Vicki Bennion will be talking about the effects of climate change induced sea level rise on mangrove forests. Head on over to our website to register so that you get the zoom link. May 27-29 | Pranafest Once again Reef Check Australia is the Charity of Choice for this event. Head on over to https://www.pranafest.com.au/ to find out more and book your tickets. Sunday June 12 | Sundays with Your Mates Our friends at Your Mates Brewery are running Sundays with Your Mates. Come along for some great food (who doesn't love a chicken snitty), tasty beverages, awesome local tunes and pick up a raffle ticket to win some great prizes and support Reef Check.   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   Copyright © 2022 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 - April 2022

September 05, 2022
Dear {{recipient.first_name_or_friend}}  The rains continue for some but we have been able to get out and do some much needed beach clean ups in SEQ and have many more activities planned. Our GBR team have been busy surveying our sites around Magnetic Island and were happy to report that there were low levels of coral bleaching observed. This months email includes: Action of the Month: Make Someone Smile News from the Field Brain Food Current Coral Affairs Get With the Program Make Someone Smile  They say laughter is the best medicine, and after months and months of limited travel and exploration coupled with fires, floods, and everything in between, we felt like April seemed like a great spot to start. It is April fools that kicks off the month after all. For this month's action of the month, we want to encourage you to make someone smile :) There are plenty of small scale pranks that you might have tried out on the 1st to varying arrays of enjoyment, and although we 100% condone the ongoing use of funny memes and dad jokes to lift the spirits of those around you, we want to encourage you to think outside the square a little, and see if you can make someone smile.. without them ever knowing who it is. There is goodness in the ability to do something for another without having to be acknowledged. We are all so quick to capture the moments rather than being present in it, so this month, let's flip that around. We don't want to see any evidence of any of the things you did to make someone else smile. You will know you did it. And who knows, maybe we will start an anonymous movement of laughter when we most need it yet. #smilelikeyoumeanit #makethemsmile #whatwillyoudo News from the field Stories and updates from our teams out & about. Check out some of these regional stories on our website! Ocean Film Festival Townsville, Cairns and Noosa We recently had the pleasure to attend the Ocean Film Festival during their tour travelling around Australia and overseas inspiring, educating and entertaining ocean enthusiasts with independent ocean films about conservation, education, sport and so much more. These events are great opportunities for our ambassadors and surveyors to connect with other thalassophiles and spread the word about Reef Check Australia events, activities and initiatives. Thanks to Julia, Jenni, Nathan and Jules for running the Cairns and Townsville desks and Jodi and Julie for running the Noosa desk. Brisbane, you're next! South East Queensland Vacuuming a Beach Sucks! By Kane James. Envirotech Vocational Officer and RCA volunteer. The contents pluming out of Brisbane river and all the way up and down our coastlines since the recent floods is absolutely shocking! Entire pontoons of concrete combined with kilograms of polystyrene have been washing up (among many other things) on northern beaches from the Sunshine Coast all the way up to Fraser Island. Seeing such beautiful beaches contaminated with waste is an eye-opener to our contribution to pollution and environmental impact. It’s hard not to get mad, especially when alternatives exist. Cranes, trucks, and maybe Helicopters are having to get involved to clean this up, contributing huge costs to clean up efforts everywhere. On ground however, It’s been awesome to see the community get involved to help out with the clean-up. An attempt to collect the exploded dusty array of tiny Styrofoam balls rolling across kilometres of beach is no easy feat. Volunteers and companies like Reef Check Australia and Ocean Crusaders have been stepping up and doing some amazing work (amongst so many other groups!) After a call out to RCA volunteers, I found myself on a giant vacuum with Andy from Ocean Crusaders in an attempt to rid Perigean beach of its Styrofoam problem, whilst others hit the beach with sieves and bags and plenty of sunscreen. With the vacuum attached to the trailer of a Surf Life Saving buggy we drove up and down the high tide line sucking up as much of the devilish substance as we could. It felt amazing to play a part in restoring a local beach, however, it was hard to not let the reality of the situation hit me too deep. It was a small role to conserve, but humanity has really got to step it up and start making some significant changes to the way we operate as a whole. Maybe this can be some motivation. There are beach clean-ups organised by the community almost every week. If you have the time and energy to assist, please do so. Remember, you don't have to wait to join an organised clean up. Next time you go for a walk, take a bag and see what debris you can remove from your local patch. If you want to donate to Reef Check Australia, to help them clean up our beaches, oceans and waterways, head on over to: www.reefcheckaustralia.org/donate   Clean Up Australia Day on Straddie A group of 50 amazing humans got together for a delayed Clean Up Australia Day event on Stradbroke Island in late March. They collected around 230kgs of rubbish plus an animal hutch, but a lot of that rubbish was weightless polystyrene and lots of plastic bottles and caps. Thanks to everyone for making this day a success #Hutchinsons builders, #Straddie Brewing Co #SeaLink Stradbroke Island #Point Lookout Surf Life Saving Club #Allure Stradbroke Resort #CleanupAustraliaday #Sea Sisters of Minjerribah #SIMO Beach Clean Up - Stumers Creek As part of the "Great Coastal Cleanup" that is happening at the moment in SEQ, we sent a small team off to the beach north of Stumers Creek. Whilst the weight of rubbish collected was not huge, there was so many tiny plastic fragments and polystyrene balls. To make the problem worse, the polystyrene was interspersed with small bits of pumice stone. In water, both of these float, making it an arduous process to collect the polystyrene.    Beach Clean Up - Alex Heads We also headed off to Alex Headlands to check out this area. The volume of rubbish in this area was not enormous which makes us wonder if the reported rubbish has washed back out to sea and further up the coast. Disappointingly we collected a large number of cigarette butts that had been carelessly disposed of, along with lots of small bits of plastic. And Dog Poo bags containing dog poo! We don't understand why people pick it up then leave the plastic bag on the beach! Raffles with Your Mates Brewery Reef Check hosted our first Charity Group raffle in partnership with the awesome Your Mates Brewery this month. We had wonderful support from the crowd enjoying live music and amazing food. Three lucky winners took home great prizes, with the lady winning the $100 gift voucher saying it was the first time she had won anything - so congratulations to all our winners and thank you so much to all those people who supported us at this event. Great Barrier Reef Geoffrey and Alma Bay Surveys Low winds and a full team available meant last weekend Reef Check Australia GBR team were out surveying the coral reefs around Magnetic Island again monitoring for signs of bleaching and other impacts and biodiversity of coral, fish, and invertebrates. On Sunday our team were joined by Joan and Troy from @Geonadir who assisted with surface watch ensuring our team in the water were safe whilst also collecting above water drone imagery data to map Geoffrey Bay. Monday we then surveyed Alma Bay with the assistance of Magnetic Island residents Kaspa and Lawrence. The conditions were excellent. We recorded low levels of bleaching and were visited by turtles, coral trout, and up to 10 meters visibility allowing us to appreciate the excellent coral cover Magnetic Island has to offer. This survey was made possible by a team of dedicated volunteers who donated their time, support from @Pleasure Divers providing equipment, Heath for providing our team accommodation and the @Townsville City Council through their Creek to Coral program. #reefcheckaustralia #volunteertoprotect #allhandsondeck #townsvilleshines #townsvillecity #magneticisland #allthedata #citizenscience New Partnership with Intrepid Travel to inspire domestic travellers Reef Check Australia is ​trialing an exciting new partnership with @IntrepidTravel, the world's largest travel B Corp and the leader in responsible small group adventures, to inspire local travellers to #volunteertoprotect. Our Great Barrier Reef Project Coordinator, Jenni Calcraft, took a team from @IntrepidTravel out to Geoffrey Bay, Magnetic Island, for a day of underwater adventures at one of our long-term reef monitoring sites. The group snorkeled along the marked trail, visited the giant clams, admired the impressive amount of coral cover, and even explored the old Moltke shipwreck (home to many species, like the large sweetlips, batfish, tusk fish, and barramundi cod!). On this particular trip, the group even spotted a small Epaulette shark. With this new potential partnership, we hope to inspire our travellers to become citizen scientists, contribute to monitoring the health of our reefs, and spread the word about why protecting them is so important. Brain Food Reviews and details on books, documentaries, and podcasts that we have come across, & wanted to share. Cephalopods: of Australia and Sub-Antarctic Territories by Amanda Reid This amazing identification guide contains colour photos and drawings to aid in identifying those amazing cephalopods we see when diving and snorkelling. It also includes maps showing where you are likely to observe the species.    Current Coral Affairs Check out some of the latest news and research about our ocean and waste reduction innovations: Marine Park for Christmas and Cocos Islands This is exciting news, two new marine parks will be established off Christmas Island and Cocos (Keeling) Islands encompassing an area of  744,000 square kilometres providing protection for the amazing array of marine life in this area.Check out more details on ABC News. Fish are smarter than we think Check out this fish "driving" to get treats.    Do you think pink, purple and blue corals are pretty - think again! Check out this video from our friends at Grumpy Turtle;Stressed Corals 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 12 April | Coast to Corals This month Dr Christopher Henderson will be talking about human impacts on biodiversity. Head on over to our website to register so that you get the zoom link. Sunday May 1 | Sundays with Your Mates Our friends at Your Mates Brewery are running Sundays with Your Mates. Come along for some great food (who doesn't love a chicken snitty), tasty beverages, awesome local tunes and pick up a raffle ticket to win some great prizes and support Reef Check. May 7 | Nurture Festival A fun festival of music, creativity and activities for families and kids of all ages to connect with community organisations on the Sunshine Coast. Reef Check Australia are one of those community groups who will be there. Visit https://www.nurturefestival.com.au to get your tickets, which by the way are only $5.00, what a bargain. May 27-29 | Pranafest Once again Reef Check Australia is the Charity of Choice for this event. Head on over to https://www.pranafest.com.au/ to find out more and book your tickets.   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   Copyright © 2022 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 - March 2022

March 01, 2022
Dear {{recipient.first_name_or_friend}}  The summer weather is playing havoc with activities in SEQ, fortunately the GBR is fairing better. We have been constantly scheduling and rescheduling our in-water activities due to wind, swell and now copious amounts of rain. Our waterways, bays and oceans are going to be severely affected and we are interested to see what impacts it has had on our marine life (once it is safe to get out there). Meanwhile our thoughts go out to the people whose homes and businesses have been affected by this phenomenal weather event we have just experienced. We urge everyone to lend a hand to those in need. This months email includes: Action of the Month: Lend a hand this March News from the Field Brain Food Current Coral Affairs Get With the Program Lend a hand this March!  Whilst North Qld stays dry at this point in time, South East QLD has been smashed with flash flooding and riverine flooding. This month is full of feel good look after the planet activities planned, and whilst we start to plan our Clean Up Australia Day event along with the rest of Australia for this weekend, we thought that maybe its a great chance to reach out to those around you and lend a hand. Reach out to the beach; so much debris has been washed downstream and onto our beaches. Reach out to your local park, playground or nature reserve; many areas will need a hand clearing such communal areas. And reach out to your neighbours. With so many people spending the next days, weeks and maybe months cleaning up their homes, yards and businesses let's not wait for clean up Australia day, and instead get started early. And for those of you with the capacity to do so; lock in a couple of extra dates this month. March for Earth (all month) and Earth Hour; March 26th. Let's focus this month on lending a hand to those around us; the people and the planet. And if you need a hand; please, reach out. We are here to support 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 Clean Up for the Hatchlings continues.. Clean up for the hatchlings took a deconstructed approach this year, heading back to our roots from when we first kicked off this event 8 years ago, yep 2014. The spicy cough meant smaller teams of people were encouraged to clean up their local patch, and whilst one team of volunteers hit the water to clean up Mooloolah river, other teams chose local beaches to remove debris, and document their findings. This year, assisted with rough seas and big storms, there were millions of tiny pieces of hard plastic washing up. With four people, in an hour and a half, we picked up 14.5kg; not including the chairs, geotextiles or chunks of wood (add another 15kg for all of that!) That might not seem like much, but of this, over 430 pieces of small plastic were removed. And as we walked back to where we started, there was more washing up again. Items included; t shirts, one rubber thong, heaps of cigarette butts (IN THE WASHED UP SEAGRASS!!), two single-use masks, cans, plastic water bottles and so many lollipop sticks. Heaps of pieces of foam, and some weird hard plastic elements.. see pic for details. Also, the highest number of small pieces of twine and/or plastic rope. As we celebrate the hatching of our turtle hatchlings along the sunshine coast, in a format a little different than our usual large event, it acts as a nice reminder that you can make a difference every single day. If we all picked up just a few pieces every time we went to the beach... How much cleaner might it be???   MBMP Habitat Restoration Event ESRAG [Environmental Sustainability Rotary Action Group] invited Reef Check to be a part of MBMP Habitat restoration event. [6th Feb 2022 at low tide] This event was attended by UQ MS , TMBF, OzFish , HL & W, REF, RC and others to interact with the rich natural environment at this location in Scarborough. Prof Ian Tibbetts took tours of the rich environment at low tide, Josh Wilson PhD student demonstrated Drone technology for research into migratory birds and the Eastern Asian Flyway. Jack Hill took groups of tour about the mangroves, and all highlighted the rich habitat there is at this location. This included OzFish and the potential for Oyster reef restoration at this site. BBQ breakfast lead the way for nourishment, and everybody gained extensively from the experience of the tour guides. There was a lot of interaction and a busy morning was had by all. By Colin Scobie, RCA Ambassador Ocean Youth We were pleased to once again be part of the Sealife Ocean Youth program this year. The constant rain meant our favourite place to visit (the rock pools) was out but we do have an amazing backup option - Sealife Mooloolaba!. We explored the touch tank and the critters that live there, visited the coral tank and the jellyfish tanks and got a behind the scenes look at the turtle "rehabilitation" area and the baby jellyfish. These young people are the future of marine conservation and we are always excited to share our knowledge and inform them of ways to become involved in marine science. Great Barrier Reef GBR Team kicks off the 2022 survey season Reef Check Australia's Great Barrier Reef team kicked off the 2022 survey season recently with a trip out to Middle Reef and Florence Bay at Magnetic Island to conduct reef health surveys. We didn't realise until after the trip that our team of divers were all female and due to last-minute changes it just so happened to occur on Friday 11th February which is International Day of Women and Girls in Science 2022! How serendipitous! In addition, we were treated to a beautiful and sunny day at the fringing reefs on our doorstep collecting lots of invaluable data on the state of our local reef ecosystem! This survey was made possible by a team of dedicated volunteers, support from Affordable Charters, and the Townsville City Council through their Creek to Coral program.   Brain Food Reviews and details on books, documentaries, and podcasts that we have come across, & wanted to share. Ocean: A visual odyssey by Dr Sylvia Earle "This comprehensive reference explains the fundamental science of the ocean--from plate tectonics to seawater makeup, including a fascinating illustrated guide to marine life, from sponges, kelp, and zooplankton to whales, sharks, and sea turtles. More than 100 maps and diagrams, including seafloor and political maps of all Earth's seas and oceans, elucidate Dr. Earle's authoritative text."   Current Coral Affairs Check out some of the latest news and research about our ocean and waste reduction innovations: Sculpted Sea Slugs Many of our team have a fascination with sea slugs which are often very tiny. A very talented man, Gar Waterman has taken to making large stone sculptures. Read more about Gar and his work in DAN magazine . Rare Baby Ghost Shark Photo by Brit Finucci New Zealand scientists have discovered this really cool baby ghost shark. Read more about it in BBC news. Get with the Program Here's what we've got coming up in the next few weeks, keep checking the website for more updates.  Sunday March 13 | Moreton Bay Kids Fest Bring the kids along and say Hi to our team. This is a great day with lots of activities for the kids. Follow this link for more information.    Reduce your carbon footprint in March 2022, while raising funds for environmental organisations (think Reef Check Australia). March 4 Earth is working to connect and empower Aussies to live more sustainably and support climate action. Find out how you can get involved by checking out their website.   Sunday March 20 | Sundays with Your Mates Our friends at Your Mates Brewery are running Sundays with Your Mates. Come along for some great food (who doesn't love a chicken snitty), tasty beverages, awesome local tunes and pick up a raffle ticket to win some great prizes and support Reef Check. Saturday March 26 | Earth Hour Switch off and #ShapeOurFuture this Earth Hour at 8.30 pm local time, Saturday 26 March. Earth hours in on again, March 26th 2022, and this year, people are being called on from all nations to sign up and join a worldwide community of millions supporting stronger action on climate change. Everyone has the power to Shape Our Future this Earth Hour. Earth Hour is a global movement that turns individuals, schools, businesses and communities into a millions-strong movement. And it’s never been more critical to come together to protect our world than at this moment. Climate change is causing biodiversity loss at a frightening scale, threatening the health of some of our most important and iconic ecosystems, like the Great Barrier Reef. We cannot ignore the impacts of climate change and species loss any longer. Sign up, switch off and spread the word - you have the power to Shape Our Future this Earth Hour. Oh... and you might just win a trip to the Great Barrier Reef for your efforts! How will you celebrate your earth hour? https://www.earthhour.org.au/   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   Copyright © 2022 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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