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Whether it’s media releases, catching up on our newsletters or finding out the latest news from the field, there’s plenty of information here for you!

World Environment Day Festival 2019

June 11, 2019
  The always awesome World Environment Day (WED) festival was held in Rotary Park, Cotton Tree on the Sunshine Coast 2nd June 2019. Celebrated in over 100 countries to build awareness and action for the protection of our environment, WED on the Sunshine Coast attracted some thousands of people despite forecasted showers. Despite the bursts of heavy rain and on-and-off showers, our Reef Ambassadors and Surveyors spent the day engaging with members of the public, sharing their passion for reef conservation, and discussing ways individuals can make small behaviour changes to help protect the oceans.   Many visitors to our stall were shocked to see a photo of a pristine coral reef and learn that the image was taken at local Mudjimba Island. We also had a number of divers approach us and share their keenness to get involved with Reef Check's citizen science.  The team also decided to change it up this year by offering mugs to patrons as an alternative to the usual single use coffee cups. These quirky cups, inscribed "you've just been mugged" with the reef check logo, were at hit! Our dedicated team handed them out at each coffee stall to patrons who seemed relieved to have a guilt free alternative (and enjoyed the pun as well). It was wonderful to witness many people wandering around the festival toting our mugs and keep cups, with few opting for the single use alternative. We are taking this as a great success, so get ready to be 'mugged' by us at the next WED!   Overall, a great day was had by all and we were stoked to be involved in World Environment Day. Hats off to the organisers, see you next year!
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A Note From Our Chair

June 03, 2019
    Friends and Colleagues,   Reef Check Australia is non-partisan, rightly and proudly so.  Our volunteers, staff and board members come from all walks of life and political persuasions.  What binds us together is our fascination and deep love for the environment, coupled with respect for the scientific method as a pathway to greater knowledge and rational action.   Many of us are feeling a sense of loss and grief as we see our political leaders and the wider polity step away from decisive action to manage the single largest threat to reef ecosystems – climate change.  We face choices, as individuals and as an organisation. One choice is to retreat.  The safety of the lounge chair, Netflix and a very large drink is attractive.  We can hide.  We can take a moment and recharge. One choice is to step hard into a fight. We can march, rally and shout.  We can disobey, disrupt and deny those who continue to systematically destroy this planet. One choice is to stay the course.  We can, despite the confusion in our heads, the sickness in our guts and the sadness in our hearts, breathe deeply and reflect on our place and our role.  We can just keep going. These choices are not fixed forever.  If you’re feeling beaten down, it’s OK. A choice to withdraw today doesn’t preclude a fight tomorrow.  To choose to fight can manifest in different ways.  Each of us can make our own choice.  I’m not sure whether it is accurate or not that Buckminster Fuller, the legendary architect, was once depressed and suicidal, but the story goes that one of the things that helped lift him out of his depression was a question he asked himself. That question was ‘What work is it that wouldn’t get done if I wasn’t around to do it?’ This is a powerful question that asks us to consider our purpose.  It’s from our purpose that our actions flow.  It’s from our purpose that I can say what choice we’re going to make as an organisation.  Reef Check Australia is not going to retreat and we aren’t going to rest.  Reef Check Australia exists so that we can feel hope and feel connected and be active.  We exist so that our community can be active and contribute positively to the knowledge about reefs.  This purpose has not changed.  The rationality of science, data and action is still real.  There is a need for us, our community, our expeditions, our outreach and our data.  That need hasn’t diminished, it has amplified – become more urgent.  In my mind we stay the course but fight even harder to do so.  We don’t change our purpose or our tactics, but we work harder and do more.  There is only one way for us to do that.  We need you to volunteer, to dive, to support outreach and to help us raise funds.  We exist as a community because we care and because we have hope. And we need you with us.  We need to be stronger.  Our strength comes from you.   Richard
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Get On Board! (Literally - We Want You On Our Board)

May 28, 2019
  Reef Check Australia (RCA) is looking for new active board members to provide guidance and leadership to the organisation. This is a voluntary position, with vacancies available for a 3-year renewable term. We currently have several vacancies for volunteer Board members and would particularly like to hear from people with the following skills, abilities or experience: Financial management Marine science and monitoring Dive industry and tourism experience Indigenous engagement   Board members are required to attend an induction, receive on the job training and mentoring and attend monthly board meetings (either in person or via conference call) Previous Board experience would be preferred, but is not essential. If you think you fit the bill for any of these positions, please apply now!    
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Clean Ups and Surveys at Fitzroy Island

May 13, 2019
  On the 27th and 28th of April Reef Check Australia volunteers, led by our new GBR Project Coordinator Nathan Cook, completed two underwater and two beach clean-ups at Fitzroy Island in the Cairns region as part of the ReefClean project that is funded through the  Australian Government’s Reef Trust which is rolling out across the Great Barrier Reef. The ReefClean project is being delivered by Tangaroa Blue Foundation and a number of partner organisations, including Reef Check Australia.   They completed a beach clean up at Welcome Bay and Nudey Beach and underwater clean ups offshore Welcome Bay, predominantly underneath the boat moorings East of the arrival pier and underneath the boat moorings West of the arrival pier. They found that most of the trash collected on land was predominantly litter from visitors to the island disposing of their rubbish carelessly.   In their data report, which is submitted into the Australian Marine Debris Initiative Database, the team noted that among the most common items found were discarded bottles, fishing gear, clothes and clothes pegs and many hair ties found in the water close to shore.    The team also took the opportunity to undertake surveys on the sites visited. Thanks as ever to our awesome volunteer surveyors for their efforts!
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RCA Ambassadors Join Seagrass Survey at Wave Break Island!

April 24, 2019
  Over the (slightly damp) Easter Long Weekend, 2 of our amazing ambassadors put on their raincoats and joined the Gold Coast Seagrass team to conduct the last of the surveys for the current season at Wave Break Island. This all sand, man-made island was constructed as part of the Gold Coast Seaway in 1985. Seagrass has become a vital inclusion to the waterways providing food to the local turtles, sea wrass and even dugongs.         Check out the run down below from Tamara: "We learnt a lot about the importance of seagrass and its role and how fragile it can be. Even kite surfing can be a threat. Despite the rain, we all had a lot of fun with seagrass, transect lines, Easter eggs and even a rainbow thrown in!"     Thanks to the City of Gold Coast Council for supporting Reef Check Ambassadors and events and of course to our awesome ambassadors for getting involved!
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Congratulations to Our New Scuba Surveyors!

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