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Around the Reef - Reef Check Australia - November 2022

November 19, 2022
Dear {{recipient.first_name_or_friend}}  We love collaboration. As a volunteer organisation we simply cannot do what we do without a myriad of collaborators. From community members, families and friends, to businesses far and wide. So we want to share a few of our favourite local products. We hope you love them as much as we do!   Your Mates Brewery: These guys have been Reef Check Australia supporters for a couple of years now, assisting with beach and in-water cleanups, and helping quench the thirst of many a volunteer. They have a huge range of tasty beverages and merch, so make sure to check them out!  https://yourmatesbrewing.com/   Pranafest: Reef Check Australia has been the charity of choice for Pranafest over the past two years, with next year already in the works. Check out their 'taste of prana' event coming up on November 19th, or secure your ticket to next years event from June 2nd. Think health, wellness, connection and fun!  A Taste of Prana  Waterlust: A selection of ocean inspired attire made from recycled plastic bottles, we love their fishy designs. Bonus; use this link to support us as well! https://waterlust.com/  Saltwater Eco Tours: Jump on a 100-year-old sail boat through the waterways of Mooloolaba for a cultural tour and you will never see the area the same again. Bookings are essential as they book out fast.  https://www.saltwaterecotours.com.au/  Ocean Art Naomi: Back again with gorgeous Christmas cards with all proceeds going to Reef Check Australia, we love all of the gorgeous pieces Naomi puts together. So grab some xmas cards and check out her work here: https://oceanartnaomi.com.au   This months email includes: Action of the Month: Reflect, learn and celebrate News from the Field Brain Food Current Coral Affairs Get With the Program Reflect, learn and celebrate! I recently read an article that explained why time seems to speed up as you get older. Basically, as children, our brains can process information quicker. Basically, we experience our lives like time-lapse photography. The more photos that are captured per second, the slower the movement of time appears. Yet as we age, we start to increase the interval between each photograph due to ever more complex neural pathways and pathway degradation, giving the illusion that events are occurring faster. This got me thinking. What if we purposely slowed down for a moment?Life seems to have sped up for so many this year; everyone is hyper focussed on just getting stuff done. For so many, it’s been a really hard slog. There is burn out everywhere. So what if we suggest that instead of speeding up in time for the silly season that we take the time to sit down. To reflect on the year that has been so far. What did you really excel at this year? What could you have been better at? And how do you want the year to end? Most importantly.. how are you going to make it happen? Taking the time to reflect is vital. We often move so quickly towards a goal that we forget to look back and see how far we have come. So this months action of the month is to reflect on the year. Think about what you learnt, and celebrate the wins, and the challenges. It will allow you to re-centre, to slow down time, even just a little bit and get ready for the month ahead. 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 Reef Health Survey An early start had the team heading to Palm Beach in reasonable conditions. Palm Beach Reef is an extensive rocky reef made up of numerous ridges and gullies, located 800-1000m off shore. The reef has patchy hard coral cover, and hosts a high number of benthic invertebrates such as sponges, ascidians and anemones. It also has a notably high abundance of sea urchins, wobbegongs and octopuses. Reef Check Australia has been monitoring Southeast Queensland reefs since 2007, and Palm Beach Reef since 2007 to gain a better understanding of the subtropical reefs in the Gold Coast subregion.  Although surface conditions were a little lumpy on the way, conditions improved once on site and the team enjoyed two pleasant reef health surveys. The site was host to numerous anemones (508 in total between the 2 sites) along with a large number of urchins (Diadema; a long spined sea urchin, collector urchins and pencil urchins; all target species for Reef Check Australia). Although not counted on our surveys, the site also hosted a large variety of sea slugs to the delight of our surveyors who are obsessed with these little critters. Reef Check Acknowledge and pay respects to the people of the Yugambeh language region of the Gold Coast and all their descendants both past and present. We also acknowledge the many Aboriginal people from other regions as well as Torres Strait and South Sea Islander people who now live in the local area and have made an important contribution to the community. This survey was made possible by grant funding from the City of Gold Coast Catchment and Citizen Science Grant   Wavebreak Island Reef Health Survey The small but mighty team started their day nice and early with a 5.00am meet up in order to catch the high tide at Wavebreak Island. Reef Check Australia has been monitoring Southeast Queensland reefs since 2007, and Wavebreak Island Reef  since 2019, as part of a partnership with City of Gold Coast to monitor the health of reefs in the area. Wave Break Island is located within the Gold Coast Broadwater (inshore) and is therefore protected from ocean swells. It provides an ideal environment for introductory diving and snorkeling. It's a perfect dive spot for beginners or for someone seeking calmer conditions. The rocky scree environment allows diver's to navigate in both shallow and deep depths, however divers should take care diving here on anything other than a slack tide, as the water can move quickly around the rock wall. The rock formation to the north of the island is an ideal area to explore as it's home to numerous sponges, small corals and plenty of octopuses. A huge number of fish are found here, resulting in this site being heavily utilised by fishermen, divers and snorkelers alike. Beautiful conditions greeted the team, and their timing was spot on, allowing the team to complete the survey with minimal current and with the site to themselves; a very uncommon occurrence due to the popularity of this site for boating and fishing. Lots of silver bream and flathead were sighted during the survey. As the site is characterised by rocky rubble on a sandy bottom, there was no coral recorded on transect. A small amount of debris and a couple of target fish were also recorded. Reef Check Acknowledge and pay respects to the people of the Yugambeh language region of the Gold Coast and all their descendants both past and present. We also acknowledge the many Aboriginal people from other regions as well as Torres Strait and South Sea Islander people who now live in the local area and have made an important contribution to the community. This survey was made possible by grant funding from the City of Gold Coast Catchment and Citizen Science Grant    Cotton Tree Clean Up The winds have been back, in between bouts of rain, so the Reef Check Australia team jumped at the opportunity of a sunny day to do a clean up along Maroochydore to Cotton Tree to see what the impact of the high south easterlies and large waves have had on the amount of marine debris collected in the area. This forms part of a wider program to look at the ongoing impacts of the floods earlier in the year. There are several newly placed geotextile sandbag groins placed in the corner of Cotton Tree, acting as a large accumulation point, where we found a myriad of single use items from silicon tips, soft plastic wrappers, and pieces of blue rope. A total of 10kg, two bags, and 1129 pieces of debris was removed from just over an 850m stretch of beach. Hard plastic pieces came in first place for numbers with 305 pieces, and cigarette butts taking out the second place with 161 found. This is the HIGHEST number of cigarette butts found on any of our beach clean ups in a really long time. Polystyrene (157 pieces) is still being found in high numbers; suspected to be an ongoing impact from the February floods. Remember, every little bit counts. If you see rubbish on the beach; pick it up. Together, we can and will make an ocean of difference. 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. This project has received funding support from the Queensland Government’s Community Sustainability Action grant program. Want to join in the next event, or maybe get your co-workers to join in for the next clean up? Get in touch. We have plenty of events still in the works, and plenty of ways to get involved. Keep an eye on our Enews letter and follow us on socials for regular updates and event locations!      Great Barrier Reef Horseshoe Bay Clean Up Earlier this month a small team got together for a beach cleanup at Horseshoe Bay Magnetic Island on a lovely sunny Sunday! We found much less rubbish on the beach compared to last year though this may be due to a few environmental factors and some passionate local Maggie residents who regularly clean up this beach! We also conducted an Ausmap microplastics survey and were happy to find no microplastics (<5mm). All data will be uploaded to Tangaroa blue's Australian Marine Debris Initiative. It was a lovely day out with like-minded individuals and a great reminder of why we love and how we care for our local beaches and marine environments. This project has received funding support from the Queensland Government’s Community Sustainability Action grant program.     Kings Beach, Bowen Clean Up Earlier this month a dedicated team of citizens from Townsville, Guthalungra, Bowen and Airlie got together at Kings Beach in Bowen for a macro and macro debris cleanup. Our team of 8 collected 12.5kg of trash including 74 lids, 577 pieces of plastic remnants, some fishing equipment, boat parts and some microplastics across 800mtrs of beach! Once again hatched turtle eggs were found on this beach which ultimately is why we think it's important to cleanup our beaches. All data will be uploaded to Tangaroa blue's Australian Marine Debris Initiative and microplastics (more than 5mm in size) sent to Ausmap. Thanks to the Reef Check Australia team who volunteered their time and of course our 4 legged mascot for the day. This project has received funding support from the Queensland Government’s Community Sustainability Action grant program. Want to join in the next event? Keep an eye on our Enews letter and follow us on socials for regular updates and event locations!      Black Island Surveys In October Reef Check Surveyors visited Black Island in the Whitsundays, one of our new monitoring sites in the Whitsundays to be surveyed annually over the new few years. This site is a popular due to its proximity to the mainland and lovely shallow blue waters. It is also one of the Boats4Corals sites, a project helping to scale up larval re-seeding in the Whitsundays region. This year we recorded similar levels of substrate (there are high levels of bare rock at this site which provide space for settlement of the next generational of young coral) and almost double the amount of fish as last year (mostly snapper, butterflyfish and parrotfish). Huge thankyou to Charlotte from Oceanrafting for joining us on her days off and John from Whitsundays Paradise Explorer for transporting and keeping our team safe on his vessel. This project was made possible by support from the Great Barrier Reef Foundation. Reef Check Acknowledge the Ngaro people of the Whitsundays as the Traditional Owners of the land and sea country where these activities took place. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging. Want to join in on the fun? Keep an eye on our Enewsletter and follow us on socials for regular updates on what’s happening above and below the water!   Hook Island underwater and land-based clean up The Reef Check Australia team headed out to Hook Island off the Whitsundays to conduct our annual underwater and beach clean up as part of Tangaroa blue's ReefClean project. At this site we have previously found small amounts of debris, however this time we were pleasantly surprised to find a total of just 13 items of debris amongst the rocks and rubbles along the beach. The dive team also took to the water to conduct an underwater clean up, finding only a minimal amount of debris during their dive. A massive shout out to Whitsunday Paradise Explorer for taking us out to this location, and our dedicated team of old and new volunteers for all your efforts! Reef Check Australia 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. This project is supported by Tangaroa blue through ReefClean; a project funded by the Australian Government’s Reef Trust. ReefClean is a project to remove and reduce marine debris impacting the Great Barrier Reef.    Brain Food Reviews and details on books, documentaries, and podcasts that we have come across, & wanted to share. Wildlings Forest School with Jodi Salmond  Check out this podcast with our very own Jodi Salmond as she talks about Citizen Science and Sustainable Stewardship. Brisbane Coral ID Workshop 28 & 29 November with Russell Kelley Okay so it's not a book or a podcast but this is a rare opportunity to attend a coral ID workshop in Brisbane with Russell Kelley, author of the Coral Finder 2022.  check out this link for more details Current Coral Affairs Check out some of the latest news and research about our ocean Scientists from James Cook University are using aerial images to monitor the health of Dugong Populations. Read now in ABC News. 'Bum-breathing' turtles being eaten by catfish in the Mary River? Yes it is a freshwater species but with a name and "hairdo" like this, how could we resist? Check out this article 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.  Tuesday 8 November | Coast to Coral - register via our website Sunday 20 November | Raffles at Your Mates Brewery - come along and enjoy a tasty beverage and support our raffles, great prizes to be won. Saturday 10 December | SUP and Beach Clean Up - email [email protected] for more details 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 - October 2022

November 19, 2022
Dear {{recipient.first_name_or_friend}}  Our teams have been busy up and down the coast, doing what we do best - surveys, clean ups and community events and even trialing drone mapping. It is hard to believe it is October already and we still have so much to do. We have completed the online component of our most recent surveyor training course and hope to finish off the in-water component soon so that we have many more hands to help us get the work done! This months email includes: Action of the Month: Do something that scares you! News from the Field Brain Food Current Coral Affairs Get With the Program Do something that scares you! Its October! Its warming up (well, in between bouts of rain and cold that is) and already there are Christmas decorations as far as the eye can see. But before we get well on our way to the silly season its time to get a little bit spooky!! I know, I know, not everyone celebrates Halloween, but in the spirit (see what I did there) of our action of the month… lets go with it. Because this months Action of the Month is to find something that scares you… and do it on purpose. This year has been a heavy one. And for many of us, it has pushed us to stay inside, to play small, to be safe. So we want to shake things up. After all, doing things that scare you help you grow! What is something you have wanted to do for ages, but have been putting off due to some sort of fear? Maybe its as simple as going outside! Going to a festival! Meeting new people, getting close to a spider, or jumping out of a plane. Who knows. The world is your oyster, so push your boundaries, get a little scared, and enjoy this life! 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 Inner Gneerings Surveys Watching the weather has become an avid pastime of all Reef Check Australia volunteers over the past few months, as conditions continue to challenge scheduled activities. With the promise of sunshine and decent ocean conditions, the tiny but mighty team headed out to the Inner Gneerings for annual reef health monitoring. Reef Check Australia has been monitoring the Inner Gneering sites since 2007, when we first established our long term reef health monitoring program in the region. The conditions were not as great as we are used to in the region, with visibility around 5-6m. The red macroalgae, Asparagopsis, was found, but in lower number than usually recorded. Nudibranchs were in high number, with a variety of species found. Drupella; a small coral eating snail, was the only target invertebrate recorded on the transect. Of interest, the water temperature was 18 degrees, and although we could not see any whales we certainly did hear them whilst underwater. Thankyou to Subsurface Scuba for getting us to our reef health monitoring site. We appreciate that many of the sites we visit are not regularly on the tourist circuit, although we believe they should be! 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 future. This project is supported by the Sunshine Coast Council’s Environmental Levy Partnerships Grant. Mudjimba Island Survey Waiting with baited breath, we heard that the sun was out, and the water was calm. . so the team jumped at the chance to spend the day on the water, monitoring local Sunshine Coast reefs as a part of our long term reef health monitoring program. Reef Check Australia has been monitoring Mudjimba Island sites since 2007, when we first established our long-term reef health monitoring program in the region. The conditions were not as great as we are used to in the region, with visibility of 3-8m. Plenty of turtles were found along the transect, wondering what we were up to.  There were a number of coral damage examples seen, and a small amount of coral bleaching and disease, however marine debris was low.  Of interest, no target fish species were recorded on transect, a large drop from previous years.  The number of coral eating snails, Drupella, increased substantially (from 29 recorded last year around the same time, to 182 this year).  No nutrient indicator algae was recorded on transect either; a decrease from almost 32% to zero. The water temperature was 17 degrees; the coldest we have ever dived the island in, and although we could not see any whales we certainly did hear them whilst underwater. Thankyou to Subsurface Scuba for getting us to our reef health monitoring site. We appreciate that many of the sites we visit are not regularly on the tourist circuit, although we believe they should be! 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 future. This project is supported by the Sunshine Coast Council’s Environmental Levy Partnerships Grant.    St Helena Island Clean Up The winds calmed down and despite the threat of rain, and the chill in the air, the calm seas meant our tiny but mighty Reef Check Australia team was able to make the trip to St Helena Island to do a land based clean up to monitor the ongoing affects the February floods has had on our local marine environments. St Helena Island is located 5km from the mouth of the Brisbane River, making it a prime position to capture debris making its way out of the river. The island has an interesting history. From 1867 it operated as a high security colonial prison, operating for 65 years as a self sufficient set up, complete with lime kiln, sugar refinery, a sugar cane plantation, and almost no native vegetation due to its removal early on. A total of 15kg and 3 bags of debris was removed from a 809m stretch of beach. Large pieces of polystyrene were located amongst rocks, whilst thousands of smaller pieces of polystyrene was caught up amongst the high tide mark, amongst the grass roots. Plastic bags, building supplies, plastic wrappers, bottles and other lightweight fragments carried by the winds and waters over the past few weeks were found amongst the rocks. Metal chunks, processed timber, broken glass, clothing and shoes, ceramic pieces, kids toys and several pieces of rope and foam were also collected and removed. Large polystyrene chunks are breaking into smaller pieces, making them harder to remove as they become imbedded in the grasses along the shoreline. If you are out on the beach, take a strainer and see how many pieces you can remove. Remember, every little bit counts.  Together, we can and will make an ocean of difference. Reef Check Acknowledge the Quandamooka people, 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 future. This project has received funding support from the Queensland Government’s Community Sustainability Action grant program.     Peel Island Clean Up A small but determined Reef Check Australia team headed out onto a beautiful calm Moreton Bay and over to Peel Island to assess if the volume of flood debris had reduced since our last visit in June. The team collected 16.5kgs of rubbish in three hours from a 1000m stretch of beach (an increase from our last visit). The debris collected included 174 polystyrene pieces and 285 pieces of hard plastic, but both of these are less than our last clean up. We also collected plastic and glass drink bottles and, again, numerous small pieces of poly pipe and little plastic baskets similar to those used in hydroponics.  A big thanks to Tony from Wet Boat Hire who not only got us there and back safely but helped out with the clean-up. This project has received funding support from the Queensland Government’s Community Sustainability Action grant program. Kings Beach Survey After numerous false starts caused by too much swell, a small but determined team dived beneath the surface at Kings Beach to complete our annual survey. This site is adjacent the rock pools and relatively shallow so good surface conditions are important. The site hosts scattered hard and soft corals, bryozoans, sponges, urchins, acsicidians and hydroids. Fortunately the cooler water temperatures meant that there was very little asparagopsis algae which makes the survey so much more enjoyable.    This survey is made possible thanks to the support of the Sunshine Coast Council's Environmental Levy Partnership Grant.    Great Barrier Reef Community Engagement at Magnetic Island Early in September on a lovely sunny Sunday morning Reef Check Australia had the pleasure of hosting another community engagement stall at the Horseshoe Bay community markets at Magnetic Island. Reef Ambassador, Chris, spoke to a range of visitors to our stall about our reef monitoring efforts at Magnetic Island, the latest Dry Tropics Partnership for Healthy Waters report card (check it out to learn about the Townsville region’s waterway health) and upcoming training opportunities. Thanks to the MICDA community for organising and hosting these markets every Sunday of the month, Ash for providing transport for our staff and our long term sponsors Townsville City Council through their Creek to Coral program. See you at the next event! Daydream Island Surveys On Saturday 24th September the Reef Check team visited Daydream Island in the Whitsundays to survey Mermaids Cove and Lovers Cove. These sites were first surveyed in 2013, with the reefs at this time dominated by soft and hard corals. However, Cyclone Debbie hit the region in 2017, resulting in a huge loss of coral cover at these sites. Rock, rubble and algae currently dominate these sites, however the positive is the reef is beginning to recover with many small coral recruits observed. In addition to our usual 100m snorkel survey, noting substrate, fish, invertebrates and any impacts to the corals, we also conducted some drone mapping! As a collaboration with Geonadir we are trialing shallow water drone mapping to investigate its effectiveness in assessing benthic cover at our sites. Thank you to our dedicated team of volunteers for all your efforts, and Daydream Island Resort and Cruise Whitsundays for assisting us in accessing these sites! This project was made possible by support from the Great Barrier Reef Foundation. 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.   Brain Food Reviews and details on books, documentaries, and podcasts that we have come across, & wanted to share. The Secret Life of Lobsters by Trevor Corson Want to know more about the life of lobsters? Check out this book by Trevor Corson as he takes you on a journey on fishing boats, scuba diving and into the water in the Gulf of Maine.   Current Coral Affairs Check out some of the latest news and research about our ocean Did coral reef fish really start out on coral reefs? Mayan City excavation reveal origins of reef fishes Can we really make new plastics that are not petroleum based? Read now in Inverse. 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 18 October | Coast to Corals - head to our website to register Saturday 22 October | SUP & Beach Clean Up - contact [email protected] Sunday 20 November | Raffles at Your Mates Brewery   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 - September 2022

November 19, 2022
Dear {{recipient.first_name_or_friend}}  Winter is finally over and our teams have been out and about doing more cleanups and surveys around the Sunshine Coast, in Moreton Bay and around the Great Barrier Reef. We have heaps more coming up plus the chance to win tickets to the Caloundra Music Festival. Check it all out below. This months email includes: Action of the Month: Spring into Spring News from the Field Brain Food Current Coral Affairs Get With the Program Get out of hibernation, and spring into spring Photo by Erik-Jan Leusink on Unsplash This past winter has been cold. Reports everywhere have shown it to be the coldest on record for many places. One of our long-term monitoring sites off the Sunshine Coast dropped to just 17 degrees in the water; the coldest we have ever dived it, Antarctic fur seals were spotted on K’gari, with seals also found along the Sunshine Coast, and as far as Lady Elliot Island! Fires, storms and the most amount of rain during winter we have ever had, with meteorological predictions suggesting continued weather anomalies well into next year. It seems like many of us may have taken all of these elements as a sign. We tried to get up. Even went as far as to put the uggies on, maybe even a beanie. Then we stepped out into the rain and went NOPE and headed back to bed. True hibernation for the winter style. Resting and recuperating is great for the mind and body. But eventually, we do have to get up and face the world again.  And with the potential promise of at least a little bit of sunny weather with Spring around the corner, what better time to ditch the tracksuit, start stretching and SPRING INTO SPRING! With only 4 months of 2022 left, let’s make the most of it. Now is the time to assess where you are at; are you on track for the year? And whilst you are looking for ways to get back out there… Why not join us on our next adventure?  We have so many opportunities for you to join in!  Beach clean ups, Reef Ambassador courses, Reef Health survey courses and new citizen science opportunities all available.  So if you are interested, make sure to reach out! 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 Currimundi Surveys In August our team headed out to the lovely Currimundi Reef to complete our surveys. Whilst the surge made the survey challenging, the team is happy to report that the reef looks healthy with only limited bleached coral observed and lots of little sea hares dining out on the Rhodophyta algae. The substrate cover remains similar to previous years with rock covered in turf algae being the dominant substrate recorded, closely followed by hard coral. These surveys are made possible by the support of the Sunshine Coast Council Environment Levy Grant.    Mudjimba Island Clean Up The winter chill hit with full force this month, with ocean temperatures dropping to 17 degrees, in between bouts of high wind and intense rainfall. Taking advantage of the glorious conditions that graced us for a few days this week, the Reef Check Australia team headed out to Mudjimba Island, off the Sunshine Coast. The island, with its interesting history is also a hot spot for larger items of debris floating out from the Maroochy River, and for this reason was chosen as a spot to assess the debris loads caused by both the March flooding event, and more recent storms and flooding. 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 Kubi Kubi 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. In 1968, a small house was built on the island using many of the stones found there by Mr Sewell.  One small prickly pear cactus he planted at that time has now resulted in the plant overtaking much of the island. The island became a Conservation Park in 2016. As whales passed between the island and the mainland, the team combed the beach and rocky tidal areas for debris. They collected 31.5kgs in total, from 745m of beach and rock. Large pieces of processed timber had collected on the north-eastern section at the high tide mark, along with chunks of polystyrene, small lightweight plastic items, plastic cups and bottles, and surfing debris (fibreglass, leg rope, towels). An old crab pot, a jet ski mirror and fishing debris was also found washed up on the northern shore, amongst foam, and glass bottles. Remember, every little bit counts.  If you see rubbish on the beach; pick it up.  Together, we can and will make an ocean of difference. 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. This project has received funding support from the Queensland Government’s Community Sustainability Action grant program. Want to join in the next event? Sign up to receive our Enews letter and follow us on socials for regular updates and event locations!    Mud Island Survey The water was cold; the coldest we have ever dived into at Mud Island, but the water was clear and the sea was calm; a great day to be out on the bay monitoring the health of shallow, inshore reefs in Moreton Bay.Reef Check Australia has been monitoring South East Queensland reefs since 2007, and Mud Island since 2017, as part of a partnership with Port of Brisbane to monitor the affects of activities in the Bay. Clean water allowed the team to find an array of critters and corals; nudibranchs, drupella snails (a small, coral eating snail) and a selection of small soft and hard corals nestled amongst several species of algae. A low level of silt was recorded across the site, and several small fish recorded (no RCA target species) hiding amongst the algae. Winter conditions often bring about clear water, however with the current la nina it has been difficult to get out on the bay due to unfavourable conditions. A small pod of dolphins checking us out combined with the ability to see corals from the vessel this week was a lovely surprise! Thankyou to Go Dive Brisbane for getting us to our reef health monitoring site. We appreciate that many of the sites we visit are not regularly on the tourist circuit, although we believe they should be! Reef Check Acknowledge the Quandamooka people of Bangamba (Mud island), 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 future. This project is supported by the Port of Brisbane as a part of their environmental monitoring program.     Mudjimba North Shore and Pincushion Island With the weather creating a change in plans once again, the Reef Check Australia team swapped diving for beach walking to clean up along popular dog beach Mudjimba North Shore, and Pincushion Island. Popular with families and dog owners, this offleash area offers protection from the wind towards the river mouth most days. However, debris is often pushed both out of the river due to rain and floods, and up into sand dunes with high winds as those seen most recently. The area can act as a natural catchment of sorts with large amounts of sand also deposited, leading to ever changing sand bars within the river mouth. The small sandstone outcrop at the mouth of the Maroochy River; Pincushion Island, had at one point been an island (hence the name) before becoming attached to the north shore due to a currently permanent sandbar. It has remained attached to the mainland ever since; now over a decade. A total of 23.2kg and 4 bags of debris was removed from 2410m stretch of beach. Large pieces of polystyrene were located amongst rocks, wrapped around tree roots and buried amongst building supplies, plastic wrappers, bottles and other lightweight fragments carried by the winds and waters over the past few weeks. Marine carpet, lures, broken glass, several shoes and thongs (always just the left side which is interesting), pieces of plastic toys and plastic rope, were also collected. Large pieces of processed timber were also removed. Unsurprisingly, plenty of incorrectly discarded dog poop bags were also collected. Remember, every little bit counts. If you see rubbish on the beach; pick it up. Together, we can and will make an ocean of difference. 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. This project has received funding support from the Queensland Government’s Community Sustainability Action grant program. Want to join in the next event? Sign up to receive our Enews letter and follow us on socials for regular updates and event locations! #togetherforouroceans #allhandsondeck #everybitcounts #volunteertoprotect   Brain Food Reviews and details on books, documentaries, and podcasts that we have come across, & wanted to share. Youtube: Kayaking the sickest urban river in Australia This short film really is a great reminder of how easily discarded waste on land ends up in our oceans. Follow Beau as he kayaks down the Cooks River in NSW; you will be appalled at the amount of rubbish he encounters. Kayaking the sickest urban river in Australia   Current Coral Affairs Check out some of the latest news and research about our ocean COTS on the Coast Recently friends of Reef Check Australia encountered a Crown of Thorns Starfish on the coast. They are not common but we do see them occasionally and they pose no great risk to our corals. We also see the occasional Triton, a natural predator of the Crown of Thorns. However our friends were lucky enough to see the Triton devouring a crown of thorns at one of our local dive sites and sent us some amazing pictures.  Photo by Karen Anderson How Scientists are restoring the Great Barrier Reef Check out the current work being done to restore our corals. Watch the video here Get with the Program Here's what we've got coming up in the next few weeks, keep checking the website for more updates.  In it to win it; CALOUNDRA MUSIC FESTIVAL Caloundra Music Festival Family pass up for grabs! Reef Check Australia and the Caloundra Music Festival have had a beautiful friendship over the past ten years, celebrating our beautiful Sunshine Coast and sharing information and images of our glorious local reefs with community, musicians, and visitors alike. This year, Caloundra Music Festival is supporting Reef Check Australia with an amazing prize; a family pass for two adults and two children for the full three days, valued at $895!!! Enjoy THREE days of Sun, Surf and Soul at the beautiful Kings Beach on the Sunshine Coast as it comes alive to the sounds of a diverse line-up of entertainment featuring the best of the Australian music industry as well as incredible international artists. 'The Caloundra Music Festival aims to bring a broad audience of locals and visitors together in celebration, to enjoy world-class music, food, arts and local culture, and to showcase the natural beauty, creative talents and unique character of the Sunshine Coast' This not for profit family-friendly community event celebrates the environment, cultural achievements and community pride of the Caloundra area. To be in it to win it, simply make a donation to Reef Check Australia of $25 or more from now until September 26. Get in quick!  Each donation counts as a separate entry.  September 27th will see one lucky winner drawn.  So pencil the festival dates into your calendar (Friday 30 September to Sunday October 2, 2022) make a donation, and stay tuned! Good luck! Sunday 11 September | Beach Clean Up Horseshoe Bay Magnetic Island Tuesday 13 September | Coast to Corals This month Dr Nataly Gutierrez Isaza will be talking about the reproductive biology of corals. Head on over to our website to register so that you get the zoom link. September/October | Reef Surveyor Online Training Do you want to join Reef Check Australia as a survey diver and help survey our reefs? We have an online course coming up soon, followed by in-water practical components. Check out our website for the pre-requisites. Sunday 2 October | Beach Clean up Forrest Beach   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 - 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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