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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!

Low Isles Tangaroa Blue ReefCleen Event May 2020

June 16, 2020
Low Isles in the Port Douglas region of the Great Barrier Reef is truly spectacular. On a cool winters day in the shadow of Covid19 the scene was quiet, however the reefs are looking spectacular demonstrating strong recovery from the bleaching that severely affected it three years ago. There were minimal signs of bleaching impacts in 2020 however. Thank you to Wavelength Reef Cruises for hosting us out on the reef and assisting us in completing our work. Reef Check Australia were on site as part of the Tangaroa Blue ReefClean event. We conducted an underwater clean up at the site and thankfully found very little rubbish. A few masks and snorkels under where the tourist boats would normally park but generally pretty clean. I can’t help but wonder if the lack of tourists currently on site had an affect on the low level of rubbish we found. 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       
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May 2020 St Helena Reef Health Surveys

May 13, 2020
After a period of postponements due to weather and COVID19 restrictions, the Reef Check Australia team headed out for a day on Moreton Bay to complete some Reef Health surveys. Good water visibility at Manly Boat Ramp bouyed our spirits and upon arrival at St Helena Island we were pleased to be able to see the substrate from the boat. The 2 sites at St Helena have patchy coral, but it was rather healthy with only a small amount of bleaching observed. It was also pleasing to note there was hardly any trash. The excellent smooth surface conditions made up for the rather chilly water.
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Whitsundays Clean Up

May 13, 2020
In May the Reef Check Australia team completed a beach and an underwater clean up at Luncheon Bay on the northern end of Hook Island in the Whitsundays. We operated as a small team to ensure adherence to social distancing restrictions and completed a one hour dive in the shallow bay. There was very little debris underwater, with only a half a snorkel being  found. The beach clean up yielded a few more items,. Micro-plastics, foam remnants, a few shoes and even a wetsuit shirt. It is possible there was less rubbish on this occasion With fewer tourists in the region due to the global pandemic. 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  
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Whitsundays Citizen Science Project Interim Report April 2020

May 06, 2020
Since April 2019 Reef Check Australia has been engaging and empowering the local Whitsundays community through the Whitsundays Citizen Science Project. RCA’s interim report summarises the project activities in the region. Highlights include the completion of 49 coral reef health surveys using Reef Check Australia, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority’s Eye on the Reef and CoralWatch coral health surveys to record data from 8 sites in the Whitsundays. New Ambassadors were trained and new surveyors have joined our team of dedicated volunteers to continue to collect high quality scientific data from the region.  “Inspiring the local community in the protection and preservation of their local reefs is crucial to developing Reef resilience. The more people who care about the Reef the more actions they will take in their everyday lives to protect it." One of the highlights has been extensive engagement and involvement of traditional owners in the selection of new survey sites around Whitsunday island. We hope they will be an integral part of our ongoing reef monitoring activities in the second half of the project. Download the full Whitsundays Citizen Science Summary report HERE. For more details contact Nathan Cook on nathan@reefcheckaustralia.org      
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Orpheus Island Reefs Fare Well, Despite Recent Temperature Spikes

May 05, 2020
The Reef Check Australia team, in partnership with Townsville based marine consultancy, Reef Ecologic, conducted reef health surveys around Orpheus Island at the start of April 2020. Calm weather and sunny skies greeted us during weekend surveys in the Palm Island Group. The team, consisting of Reef Check GBR coordinators Nathan Cook and Jenni Calcraft, volunteer Adriana Campili and Reef Ecologic Director Dr Adam Smith surveyed 5 sites around Orpheus, Pelorus and Fantome Islands to assess the health of the Reef as part of Reef Ecologic’s Integrated Coral Reef Citizen Science Program. Signs of reef stress were evident, but we anticipate a strong recovery of those corals impacted by the warm ocean temperatures experienced in parts of the Great Barrier Reef through February and March 2020. Results from all of Reef Check Australia's surveys will be published in a regional annual report at the end of the financial year. The Integrated Coral Reef Citizen Science Program is funded by the partnership between the Australian Government’s Reef Trust and the Great Barrier Reef Foundation.  
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Whitsunday Reef Surveyor Training

April 13, 2020
The first Reef Check Australia Reef Survey Course for 2020 was held in the Whitsundays region in early March. We had 4 passionate participants who were excited to be joining the Reef Check Australia team. Over the course of the weekend we visited Hardy Reef as part of the training activities, where we also conducted some Reef Health Surveys.    We had great support from our delivery partners, Cruise Whitsundays and the Coral Sea Marina Resort. During the weekend, we had Ngaro traditional owners participate in the weekends activities learning about Reef monitoring and how we provide information to management about the health of the Reef and what we can all do to support its ongoing resilience. Thank you to those who attended the training, we are thrilled to have you on the Reef Check Australia team!  If you are interested in getting involved with Reef Check Australia and any of our activities, please do not hesitate to get in touch with the team to find our when the next rounds of training will be.  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.  
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