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Around the Reef - Reef Check Australia - March 2022

March 01, 2022
Dear {{recipient.first_name_or_friend}}  The summer weather is playing havoc with activities in SEQ, fortunately the GBR is fairing better. We have been constantly scheduling and rescheduling our in-water activities due to wind, swell and now copious amounts of rain. Our waterways, bays and oceans are going to be severely affected and we are interested to see what impacts it has had on our marine life (once it is safe to get out there). Meanwhile our thoughts go out to the people whose homes and businesses have been affected by this phenomenal weather event we have just experienced. We urge everyone to lend a hand to those in need. This months email includes: Action of the Month: Lend a hand this March News from the Field Brain Food Current Coral Affairs Get With the Program Lend a hand this March!  Whilst North Qld stays dry at this point in time, South East QLD has been smashed with flash flooding and riverine flooding. This month is full of feel good look after the planet activities planned, and whilst we start to plan our Clean Up Australia Day event along with the rest of Australia for this weekend, we thought that maybe its a great chance to reach out to those around you and lend a hand. Reach out to the beach; so much debris has been washed downstream and onto our beaches. Reach out to your local park, playground or nature reserve; many areas will need a hand clearing such communal areas. And reach out to your neighbours. With so many people spending the next days, weeks and maybe months cleaning up their homes, yards and businesses let's not wait for clean up Australia day, and instead get started early. And for those of you with the capacity to do so; lock in a couple of extra dates this month. March for Earth (all month) and Earth Hour; March 26th. Let's focus this month on lending a hand to those around us; the people and the planet. And if you need a hand; please, reach out. We are here to support you. News from the field Stories and updates from our teams out & about. Check out some of these regional stories on our website! South East Queensland Clean Up for the Hatchlings continues.. Clean up for the hatchlings took a deconstructed approach this year, heading back to our roots from when we first kicked off this event 8 years ago, yep 2014. The spicy cough meant smaller teams of people were encouraged to clean up their local patch, and whilst one team of volunteers hit the water to clean up Mooloolah river, other teams chose local beaches to remove debris, and document their findings. This year, assisted with rough seas and big storms, there were millions of tiny pieces of hard plastic washing up. With four people, in an hour and a half, we picked up 14.5kg; not including the chairs, geotextiles or chunks of wood (add another 15kg for all of that!) That might not seem like much, but of this, over 430 pieces of small plastic were removed. And as we walked back to where we started, there was more washing up again. Items included; t shirts, one rubber thong, heaps of cigarette butts (IN THE WASHED UP SEAGRASS!!), two single-use masks, cans, plastic water bottles and so many lollipop sticks. Heaps of pieces of foam, and some weird hard plastic elements.. see pic for details. Also, the highest number of small pieces of twine and/or plastic rope. As we celebrate the hatching of our turtle hatchlings along the sunshine coast, in a format a little different than our usual large event, it acts as a nice reminder that you can make a difference every single day. If we all picked up just a few pieces every time we went to the beach... How much cleaner might it be???   MBMP Habitat Restoration Event ESRAG [Environmental Sustainability Rotary Action Group] invited Reef Check to be a part of MBMP Habitat restoration event. [6th Feb 2022 at low tide] This event was attended by UQ MS , TMBF, OzFish , HL & W, REF, RC and others to interact with the rich natural environment at this location in Scarborough. Prof Ian Tibbetts took tours of the rich environment at low tide, Josh Wilson PhD student demonstrated Drone technology for research into migratory birds and the Eastern Asian Flyway. Jack Hill took groups of tour about the mangroves, and all highlighted the rich habitat there is at this location. This included OzFish and the potential for Oyster reef restoration at this site. BBQ breakfast lead the way for nourishment, and everybody gained extensively from the experience of the tour guides. There was a lot of interaction and a busy morning was had by all. By Colin Scobie, RCA Ambassador Ocean Youth We were pleased to once again be part of the Sealife Ocean Youth program this year. The constant rain meant our favourite place to visit (the rock pools) was out but we do have an amazing backup option - Sealife Mooloolaba!. We explored the touch tank and the critters that live there, visited the coral tank and the jellyfish tanks and got a behind the scenes look at the turtle "rehabilitation" area and the baby jellyfish. These young people are the future of marine conservation and we are always excited to share our knowledge and inform them of ways to become involved in marine science. Great Barrier Reef GBR Team kicks off the 2022 survey season Reef Check Australia's Great Barrier Reef team kicked off the 2022 survey season recently with a trip out to Middle Reef and Florence Bay at Magnetic Island to conduct reef health surveys. We didn't realise until after the trip that our team of divers were all female and due to last-minute changes it just so happened to occur on Friday 11th February which is International Day of Women and Girls in Science 2022! How serendipitous! In addition, we were treated to a beautiful and sunny day at the fringing reefs on our doorstep collecting lots of invaluable data on the state of our local reef ecosystem! This survey was made possible by a team of dedicated volunteers, support from Affordable Charters, and the Townsville City Council through their Creek to Coral program.   Brain Food Reviews and details on books, documentaries, and podcasts that we have come across, & wanted to share. Ocean: A visual odyssey by Dr Sylvia Earle "This comprehensive reference explains the fundamental science of the ocean--from plate tectonics to seawater makeup, including a fascinating illustrated guide to marine life, from sponges, kelp, and zooplankton to whales, sharks, and sea turtles. More than 100 maps and diagrams, including seafloor and political maps of all Earth's seas and oceans, elucidate Dr. Earle's authoritative text."   Current Coral Affairs Check out some of the latest news and research about our ocean and waste reduction innovations: Sculpted Sea Slugs Many of our team have a fascination with sea slugs which are often very tiny. A very talented man, Gar Waterman has taken to making large stone sculptures. Read more about Gar and his work in DAN magazine . Rare Baby Ghost Shark Photo by Brit Finucci New Zealand scientists have discovered this really cool baby ghost shark. Read more about it in BBC news. Get with the Program Here's what we've got coming up in the next few weeks, keep checking the website for more updates.  Sunday March 13 | Moreton Bay Kids Fest Bring the kids along and say Hi to our team. This is a great day with lots of activities for the kids. Follow this link for more information.    Reduce your carbon footprint in March 2022, while raising funds for environmental organisations (think Reef Check Australia). March 4 Earth is working to connect and empower Aussies to live more sustainably and support climate action. Find out how you can get involved by checking out their website.   Sunday March 20 | Sundays with Your Mates Our friends at Your Mates Brewery are running Sundays with Your Mates. Come along for some great food (who doesn't love a chicken snitty), tasty beverages, awesome local tunes and pick up a raffle ticket to win some great prizes and support Reef Check. Saturday March 26 | Earth Hour Switch off and #ShapeOurFuture this Earth Hour at 8.30 pm local time, Saturday 26 March. Earth hours in on again, March 26th 2022, and this year, people are being called on from all nations to sign up and join a worldwide community of millions supporting stronger action on climate change. Everyone has the power to Shape Our Future this Earth Hour. Earth Hour is a global movement that turns individuals, schools, businesses and communities into a millions-strong movement. And it’s never been more critical to come together to protect our world than at this moment. Climate change is causing biodiversity loss at a frightening scale, threatening the health of some of our most important and iconic ecosystems, like the Great Barrier Reef. We cannot ignore the impacts of climate change and species loss any longer. Sign up, switch off and spread the word - you have the power to Shape Our Future this Earth Hour. Oh... and you might just win a trip to the Great Barrier Reef for your efforts! How will you celebrate your earth hour? https://www.earthhour.org.au/   If you missed any of our Coast to Coral online events, remember you can always catch-up by taking a look at our YouTube Channel here     Thanks for reading! If you want to help our work to empower more people to protect Australian reefs, please consider making a monthly tax-deductible donation.    Make a Donation   Copyright © 2022 Reef Check Australia, All rights reserved.You have received this newsletter because you have given Reef Check Australia your email address. If you would prefer not to receive any further emails, please click the unsubscribe link in your email.Our mailing address is: Reef Check Australia1/377 Montague RdWest End, QLD 4101Australia
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Around the Reef - Reef Check Australia - February 2022

February 06, 2022
Dear {{recipient.first_name_or_friend}}  Wow it's 2022 already and February! Our team had a well earned break but were back into the action by mid January. So much happened towards the end of last year that we could not fit it all in the December news, so we have included some in this months newsletter. We have lots of activities coming up in the next few months so we have a busy time ahead.  This months email includes: Action of the Month: Love is in the air News from the Field Brain Food Current Coral Affairs Get With the Program Love is in the air!  It's February, which means Love is in the air! To celebrate, Februarys Action of the month is to bring more HEART into your life. This month, we want to take a deep dive into looking at ways to bring more heart into everything we do, which means starting with yourself. It's been said time and time again; it's important to look after yourself, and with the world around us changing as often as it is, we want to make sure we really take that to heart. This month, let's make sure we all practice self-care first and foremost; fuelling our bodies, getting enough sleep, doing things that make us happy, connecting with nature, or reaching out to friends and family if we need support. The past days, weeks, months have been hard on many of us, so remember to be kind; to each other, and ourselves. There are plenty of ways to bring more heart into all our lives; a heartfelt message, or note of appreciation is a beautiful way to show you care. Or a hug, some home baked goodies, a coffee, or even a walk with a friend who needs a friendly shoulder all encourages connection. So, let's bring more heart into our lives this month; for yourself, those around you, and the planet. What will you do?   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 Mooloolah River Survey Our team managed to sneak in a survey at La Balsa Park before the impending holiday crowds descended upon this popular location. We were greeted by good visibility and kept company by an assortment of fish, including lots of butterflyfish, bream and fan bellied leatherjackets. It was encouraging to see some small hard coral recruits attaching to the rocks. Whilst there, our team also collected a significant amount of debris during the survey, including a large sheet of disintegrating black plastic and hundreds of metres of fishing line. This survey is sponsored by the Sunshine Coast Council Environment Levy Partnership. Mud Island Survey A small team got out on the beautiful Moreton Bay with our friends from River to Bay. Surface conditions were magical and although the underwater visibility was low, it was still enough to allow us to complete our 2 surveys at Mud Island. Once again, as happens every summer, we were greeted by large amounts of Sargassum algae, but we did find some small soft corals hiding amongst it. We look forward to our winter surveys when this algae has gone and we can see the amazing corals in this area. This project has received funding support from the Port of Brisbane. Clean up for the Hatchlings Unfortunately due to Omicron the annual Clean-up-for-the-Hatchlings was not able to be run in it's normal format. We missed the interaction with all the community groups that get involved in this activity and the people who come along and help out with the snorkel. We did however still manage to get a team in the water to collect rubbish on behalf of this event. Great Barrier Reef Alma Bay, Magnetic Island, Clean Up Participation in marine conservation activities is a fantastic way for the local community to connect with nature, learn about threats to its ongoing health and do something that can ‘make a difference’. Over the weekend Reef Check Australia in partnership with Tangaroa Blue hosted 24 enthusiastic volunteers at Alma Bay, Magnetic Island as part of the Great Barrier Reef ReefClean project. Participants completed an underwater and beach clean up. The dive team of four explored the seabed of Alma Bay looking for trash discarded or washed into the sheltered bay. Aluminium cans and broken glass along with a couple of hair ties dominated the limited debris located underwater. 18 Students from the local Pimlico State High School’s Global Studies program joined in the land based activities assisting Reef Check team leader, Nathan Cook in completing a thorough scour of the beach for debris. ‘I am amazed at how much rubbish we found’ said Pimlico student Satya Cook. “When we arrived the beach looked pretty clean so I am surprised we found so much rubbish’. The students completed an AUSMAP microplastics survey and a beach clean up. All rubbish found was sorted, categorised and uploaded to Tangaroa Blue’s Australian Marine Debris Initiative. Since 2004 more than 7 million pieces of data have been inputted into the Australian Marine Debris Database, creating a comprehensive overview of what amounts and types of marine debris are impacting beaches around the country. Among the debris found at Alma Bay on the weekend the rubbish was dominated by broken glass and plastic bits and pieces. 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   Nelly Bay, Magnetic Island, Clean Up Despite the grey skies, a small team of Reef Check Australia volunteers ventured out to Nelly Bay at Magnetic Island in search of marine debris. We conducted a beach cleanup and an underwater cleanup, targeting around the backpackers and along the beach. We found 208 pieces of hard plastic remnants amongst other items like plastic cutlery, bottle lids, cigarette butts and aluminium cans and removed this from the area in time for the turtle hatchlings due to emerge in a months time! Thanks to our fantastic team of volunteers who weathered the rain and change of plans and made a day of it, we simply could not have done it without them! The ReefClean project funded by the Australian Government’s Reef Trust, delivered by Tangaroa Blue Foundation and a number of partner organisations including Reef Check Australia.     Brain Food Reviews and details on books, documentaries, and podcasts that we have come across, & wanted to share. Whale Sharks Biology, Ecology and Conservation. Edited by Alistair D.M. Dove and Simon J. Pierce Want to know all about whale sharks? Did you know they are bigger than Megalodon? I have only read an excerpt from this book and it is amazing. They have brought together the world's leading experts on whale sharks to discuss the lives of these magnificent creatures. Breath The New Science of a lost Art by James Nestor If you're looking for an interesting read, this was one of the most popular books from the 2021 Mindlife Project Bookclub. There is nothing more essential to our health and well-being than breathing: take air in, let it out, repeat twenty-five thousand times a day. Yet, as a species, humans have lost the ability to breathe correctly, with grave consequences. Journalist James Nestor travels the world to figure out what went wrong and how to fix it. Current Coral Affairs Check out some of the latest news and research about our ocean and waste reduction innovations: "New" Coral Reef found off Tahiti A huge, “pristine” coral reef has been discovered off the coast of Tahiti, French Polynesia. Stretching 3 kilometers (nearly 2 miles) – that’s around 27 football fields – it is thought to be one of the biggest coral reefs in the world. Read more about this amazing discovery in IFLScience: https://apple.news Blast from the Past We were recently sent these photos by one of our RCA supporters. These photos were taken at Heron Island in 1977, at Heron Bommie (one of RCA's survey sites). Apparently the year of these photos was a big update on the equipment required for diving there - a CO2 inflated surface vest! They still had no SPG, depth gauge, watch or octopus (all of which were considered unnecessary). You knew it was time to head back when it got hard to breathe and you had to pull a j-valve for some extra air, depth was read from the boat's sounder and the dive time supplied by the boat skipper. I must admit I am glad equipment has improved somewhat since then.   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 6 Feb | Moreton Bay Habitat Restoration, come and chat to our team. 6.30am for BBQ followed by a tour of the local ecological habitat . This will have representatives of UQ Marine Society, Ozfish, Reef Check etc to take tours of the under water environment. Mangroves, Migratory birds oyster reef restoration projects and more. Come and be a citizen science participant for a couple of hours and join our experts and be a tourist, for a brief encounter with the wild side of the world. Bring your camera, your children, grandparents etc and your wellies/ gumboots for a walk on the wild side of nature.Meet you at the cnr of Endeavour Esplanade & Oyster Point Parade Scarborough.6.30am to 11am SundayContact [email protected] for more details   Reduce your carbon footprint in March 2022, while raising funds for environmental organisations (think Reef Check Australia). March 4 Earth is working to connect and empower Aussies to live more sustainably and support climate action. Find out how you can get involved by checking out their website.     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 © 2021 Reef Check Australia, All rights reserved.You have received this newsletter because you have given Reef Check Australia your email address. If you would prefer not to receive any further emails, please click the unsubscribe link in your email.Our mailing address is: Reef Check Australia1/377 Montague RdWest End, QLD 4101Australia    
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Around the Reef - Reef Check Australia - December 2021

December 01, 2021
Dear {{recipient.first_name_or_friend}}  T'is the season to be jolly, and who doesn't want to be? With borders reopening (kinda) it means we can get together with loved ones and enjoy this festive season together. Our team will be taking a well earned short break over the Christmas/New Year period but will be back into all the activities we have lined up starting in mid January. Keep an eye out to see what events we have planned in the new year that you can be involved in. In the meantime our team wishes you, your family and loved ones an awesome festive season! This months email includes: Action of the Month: Presence not Presents News from the Field Brain Food Current Coral Affairs Get With the Program Presence not Presents  We often talk about giving experiences rather than gifts. This is because an experience and the joy it brings far outweighs any moments of joy created from stuff; regardless of what that 'stuff' is. This Action of the Month is about presence not presents. But we also realise that some of you might still be looking for the ultimate experience to give someone... so just in case.. how about thinking about adopting a reef this celebration season? You might even like to visit your adopted reef for a truly unique experience!   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 Written by Anna Fransson: Fishing line and sinkers! That was the majority of our catch during a scuba dive clean-up of the Gold Coast Seaway on Saturday. Our group of volunteers picked up as much as we could during our hour dive, and got back up with frozen hands and high spirits. Knowing that we are protecting ocean life from getting tangled up in the fishing lines and hooks we collected, makes the work feel so important and meaningful. Whilst we removed over 100m of fishing line, the good news was that we only collected 2 pieces of soft plastics, hopefully an indication that the community is becoming more responsible with their waste disposal. This project has received funding support from the Queensland Government’s Community Sustainability Action grant program. Clean up with Suncoast Christian College Early November we were delighted to be joined by a small but enthusiastic group of students from Suncoast Christian College for a quick clean up on Buddina Beach. Whilst the overall number of items found was not huge, they did find a large chunk of polystyrene, which as we all know breaks down into millions of tiny pieces. The students were all very aware of the importance of removing rubbish and the harmful effects it has on our marine life so they are all great ambassadors for our planet. Great Barrier Reef Sustainable House Day - Townsville Written by Chris Hopper:On 17th September the Reef Check GBR team hosted a stall at @Townsville City Council's Sustainable House Day in Rowes Bay, Townsville. Julia (RCA Surveyor) and Chris (RCA Ambassador) engaged with anyone interesting in learning about Reef Check Australia's activities in this area and how they can be more sustainable at home. Julia took the opportunity to set up a transect to allow kids visiting the stall to practise their reef health surveying skills with Reef Check Reef Search field kits. Check out the cutest photo of our youngest surveyor yet! Chris had a great time talking to visitors on how to be part of the Reef Check Australia GBR chapter. This event was only foundations for future Townsville City Council sustainability events and Reef Check Australia are excited to continue to attend to spread the word of citizen science and empowering people to look after their local reef and oceans. Thanks to our awesome Reef Check team and to Townsville City Council for holding and supporting sustainability and citizen science initiatives like ours in this region! #volunteertoprotect   Fitzroy Island Clean Up As part of Tangaroa Blue’s Great Barrier Reef wide ReefClean project, a team from Reef Check Australia completed a beach and underwater cleanup at Fitzroy Island over the weekend. In the past we have targeted searching for marine debris under the public moorings to the north of the jetty, however this visit our search under the public moorings to the south proved more successful collecting 4.5kg of debris. We had a busy dive finding cans, bottles, snorkelling equipment, boat parts and clothing hangers that had fallen off visiting vessels. We also found a considerable amount of fishing line in this area that had been around for a while so it was rewarding for our team to remove this from the marine environment. During our beach cleanup the majority of the items we found were food and recreational items leftover from visitors. We counted only a few cigarette butts which was very pleasing! The ReefClean project funded by the Australian Government’s Reef Trust, delivered by Tangaroa Blue Foundation and a number of partner organisations including Reef Check Australia. Mackay Marine Classroom Reef Check Australia visited the Mackay region this month to assist not for profit, natural resource management group Reef Catchments with their second Marine Classroom aboard SV Whitehaven for students from Mackay North State High School. We delivered in-water snorkel safety and training followed by an introduction to reef health monitoring methods including Reef Check's ReefSearch, Coral Watch Bleaching Surveys and Eye on the Reef Rapid Monitoring. It's always so inspiring to meet young, engaged students interested in learning about and looking after the environment and we hope that we inspired you in turn to #volunteertoprotect This Reef Catchments project received grant funding from the Australian Government through the Australian Heritage Grants Program. The charter vessel component of the Marine Classroom project is funded through the Queensland Government's Reef Assist Program and delivered by Reef Catchments and SV Whitehaven. Check out what the students and scientists had to say in the video here! Forrest Beach Cleanup A few weekends ago a group of volunteers from the Forrest Beach, Hinchinbrook and Townsville regions collected almost 650kg of marine debris and illegally dumped items across over 11km of Forrest Beach. We had almost 20 attendees roll their sleeves up and collect 1659 items! This included 149 cigarette butts/filters, 75 plastic lids, 58 pieces of footwear (mostly single flip flops) and 675 pieces of hard plastic remnants. Larger items included parts of a fibreglass boat, abandoned white goods and even car parts! The smallest were a few pieces of microplastics after an @ausmap microplastic survey was conducted. All data has been logged with @reefclean @tangaroablue's Australian marine debris initiative database. Huge thankyou to our legendary group of volunteers, the fantastic @Forrest Beach Hotel for hosting our campers and providing a BBQ lunch for our crew and of course the team from @Hinchinbrook Shire Council who were instrumental in helping us put this together. This project has received funding support from the Queensland Government’s Community Sustainability Action grant program.   Brain Food Reviews and details on books, documentaries, and podcasts that we have come across, & wanted to share. Below the edge of darkness by Edith Widder A fascinating insight into the exploration of bioluminescence using deep sea submersibles and the challenges of observing mid water species in their natural environment. Jellyfish A Natural History by Lisa-Ann Gershwin Some of you may remember the amazing Coast to Corals talk on Jellyfish by Lisa- Ann. In this book she presents fifty unique species of jellyfish with stunning colour photographs and information on their anatomy, history, distribution, position in the water and environmental status. Current Coral Affairs Check out some of the latest news and research about our ocean and waste reduction innovations: So you thought all whales migrated south for summer? Check out this latest research on Southern Right Whales. It's here! the annual coral spawning event is underway again. This is something definitely worth checking out if you are a keen diver. Get with the Program Here's what we've got coming up in the next few weeks, keep checking the website for more updates.  31 December 2021: Thrive. This year, Reef Check Australia is once again the charity of choice for THRIVE festival, held on the Sunshine Coast. Its a beautiful festival full of goodness; from music, to art, to acrobatics and massage to reflective practice and connection. RCA strives to create connections with our natural marine environment, and THRIVE is all about creating human connections with self and each other, so the partnership is perfect! If you are interested in joining us this December 31 to bring in the new year, head on over to humanitix for your ticket! 22 January 2022: Get your tickets here   Don't forget Coast to Corals is taking a short break. 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 © 2021 Reef Check Australia, All rights reserved.You have received this newsletter because you have given Reef Check Australia your email address. If you would prefer not to receive any further emails, please click the unsubscribe link in your email.Our mailing address is: Reef Check Australia1/377 Montague RdWest End, QLD 4101Australia
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Around the Reef - Reef Check Australia - November 2021

November 01, 2021
Dear {{recipient.first_name_or_friend}}  Boom. Its November! Once again, we blinked and another month passed by. What did you get up to this last month? Despite the weather continuing to try its best to foil our plans, our teams have been busy, out and about in the community above and below the water, cleaning up our coastlines and waterways, engaging the community and getting ready for the silly season. We have plenty of events coming up in the next few weeks, so don’t forget to check out what's coming up. This months email includes: Action of the Month: Conscious shopping News from the Field Brain Food Current Coral Affairs Get With the Program Conscious Shopping. Think about your purchases!  Last month, we promised to share some of our favourite local businesses with you, whom you can support when ticking off that Christmas shopping list.  We love giving the gift of experiences, allowing people to connect with the world around them, so where possible; think about unique ways to check out your local areas this Christmas.  If however, you are shopping for someone out of town/interstate, why not gift them something from your local area. Your community will appreciate you for it. Clayed Coral Handcrafted on the Sunshine Coast this amazing reef inspired jewellery brand has been a HUGE support to @reefcheckaustralia the past year. Donating 10% of all profits to our cause, buying from @clayedcoral this Christmas is a great way to support a local business and #saveourreefs They will not only make you look fabulous but also feel fabulous! 🥰🥰 This beautiful, handcrafted, reef inspired, all round epic jewellery is the perfect little something for your friends and family members for Chrissy! Oh and did we mention they do sustainable shipping?! Head over to www.clayedcoral.com to get your hands on a pair of these beautiful, sustainable earrings. Lush Mala Beads Lush mala beads have been a long term supporter of Reef Check Australia, and we collaborated for some mermaid malas! The Mermaid Mala was born from the acknowledgement that we are all connected to the planet, and that what we do above the water directly affects what happens below it. Over 8 million tonnes of rubbish from our daily lives make its way into the ocean each and every year. Most of this will remain in the ocean, causing ingestion and entanglement issues for a myriad of animals. But a small portion of this debris will be removed. An even smaller portion will be recycled and given a second life. With an idea to truly turn trash into treasure, Reef Check Australia and Lush Mala Beads teamed up to celebrate the amazing underwater wonderland, and to support the action agents dedicated to understanding and protecting our precious reef resources by creating something truly unique and beautiful. The Mermaid Mala series is the result of this collaboration. For each item you purchase from the series, 20% of the profits will go to Reef Check Australia to further support on ground (and underwater!) efforts. Made from recycled glass beads, silk, sterling silver charms and a whole lot of love, these gorgeous pieces won’t last long. So rise and shine. Embrace your inner mermaid and speak up for our oceans –and look damn good doing it. Want your own mermaid mala? Head on over to Lush Mala Beads Your Mates Brewery Based on the Sunnycoast @yourmatesbrewing sells epics beers with a simple vision in mind - mateship, inclusiveness, and sustainability. @yourmatesbrewing has been a HUGE supporter of Reef Check Australia by lending out their space to us every month for our epic Beer Yoga Event. Make sure this Christmas you stock up on this epic beer (or ginger beer) made by epic people - supporting them supports us and many other organisations! P.s while you’re there grab a bite to eat - the food is just as good as the beer. They also have some epic merch! 😍 Check out some cool merchandise from our supporter Lawrence here. In the market for some unique candles? Check out repurposed wine bottles at Unwined Candle Co. Goodwill Wines will donate half of the profit to Reef Check Australia from each bottle of wine sold, so make sure you select us as your charity of choice when ordering. 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 Late News - National Science Week Along with oh so many fabulous humans absolutely SMASHING IT in their field, our General Manager was invited to be part of a National Science Week Q&A, where year 10 school students from regional schools across Queensland ask STEMM leaders to answer them. It’s aimed at inspiring an interest in science in the next generation, so it was a great opportunity to talk all things marine biology, volunteering and science. Check out the page to read all about insights from fellow Homeward Bound Cohort 5 members; Amelia Maree, Bernie-Anne Freeman, and Karen Joyce amongst oh so many other awesome people here: Stem experts Beer Yoga - Last one for the Year The last Beer Yoga for 2021 was held this month. Our wonderful yogi, Lisa,  tested everyone's balancing, beer drinking, burping, swimming and boat rowing abilities. Do you have any idea how difficult these moves are to achieve when you are in constant hysterics? Stay tuned for 2022 dates. You don't want to miss these epic events. Great Barrier Reef Surveys at Hayman Island As we move out of the winter and headlong towards another warm summer, the water is warming and spring is in the air and under water. Reef Check Australia team leader Nathan Cook, was joined by Aimee Brown and Whitsunday locals and Reef Check surveyors Laura Oates and Ben Corbishley to a recent survey at Blue Pearl Bay, Hayman Island. The team completed an ecological survey on the fringing reef in front of the beach at Hayman Island. The reef experienced significant degradation as a result of ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie in 2017 and since then has shown only limited recovery in the ensuing 4 years. The site is dominated by massive Porites species coral bommies and an abundance of boring giant clams (Tridacna crocea), herbivores (rabbit and parrotfish) and the occasional sweetlips. Recovery is coming in the way of many new coral recruits evident on the relatively barren landscape, but recovery from this disturbance seems to be a bit of a slow burn on the nearshore reef environments of the Whitsundays. We were blessed with fantastic weather and calm seas. Big Thanks to our volunteers for helping collect important data to help contribute to management to help support the health and resilience of the Great Barrier Reef. Photos by Jenni Calcraft and Ben Corbishley Luncheon Bay, Hook Island just a little bit cleaner As part of Tangaroa Blue’s Great Barrier Reef wide ReefClean project, volunteers from Reef Check Australia headed to Luncheon Bay, Hook Island to do some good for our local environment. Over the last two years Reef Check have been conducting underwater and beach clean-ups at Luncheon Bay as one of multiple target sites as part of the project. Volunteers Ben Corbishley, Laura Oates, Kara Coulter-Mae and Aimee Brown joined team leader Nathan Cook. We conducted 1 underwater clean up dive and also did a sweep of the beach looking for any washed up debris. We are happy to report that each visit we appear to be finding less debris on each visit. A good sign that marine debris is likely not an ongoing issue at this site. By collecting data we will be able to see this trend and redirect resources in the future to more needy locations. But for now it is good to know this location is not presenting as a major issue. Thanks to everyone who helped out as part of this event. Photos by Aimee Brown and Nathan Cook. The ReefClean project funded by the Australian Government’s Reef Trust, delivered by Tangaroa Blue Foundation and a number of partner organisations including Reef Check Australia. Bowen Litter Clean Up 562 items. That was the total number of pieces of litter a group of volunteers collected during our latest cleanup event at the northern end of Kings Beach in Bowen, sponsored by DES (Department of Environment and Science). Sometimes it can be disheartening the amount of rubbish we collect from these cleans, especially when items include sanitary products, nappies, cigarettes and plastic bits and pieces. Oh, so many plastic bits and pieces. But...the reason we do this is we believe it's better out than in and for this particular cleanup it all came full circle when local Bowen resident, Meg, found an old turtles' egg that had hatched from a previous nesting season. We do it for the health of our beaches, our oceans, for our community and residents including marine animals like our turtles! We were also pleased to report that no microplastics (smaller than 5mm) were found in the @ausmap surveys we conducted. All data will be logged with @tangaroablue's Australian marine debris initiative database and we encourage you to do the same with your cleanups! 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! This project has received funding support from the Queensland Government’s Community Sustainability Action grant program.   Brain Food Reviews and details on books, documentaries, and podcasts that we have come across, & wanted to share. Dreamy - Having trouble getting to sleep? Indigenous creatives have put together a series of sleep stories "to help us hit that brain Snooze button".  Check them out here Some of you may remember our Coast to Corals talk on crabs by Peter Davie. Check out his new book which is "A richly illustrated natural history of the world's crabs that examines their diversity, ecology, anatomy, behaviour and more."   Current Coral Affairs Check out some of the latest news and research about our ocean and waste reduction innovations: Could this little fish really be the key to saving coral reefs? Read more here   You know what it's like, you take photos of fish then leaf through countless ID books trying to pinpoint the species. This new tool (still in development) could solve your problems. Right now though you have the option of submitting your awesome photos to train the AI's algorithm. Follow this link for more info. Get with the Program Here's what we've got coming up in the next few weeks, keep checking the website for more updates.  9 November 2021: Don't miss the last one for 2021! Coast to Corals - Engaging tourists as citizens scientists in marine tourism 31 December 2021: Thrive. Reef Check Australia are the charity of choice again this year, so you can support Reef Check and have an awesome night out (or weekend). Get in early to get your tickets. 22 January 2022: Get your tickets here   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 © 2021 Reef Check Australia, All rights reserved.You have received this newsletter because you have given Reef Check Australia your email address. If you would prefer not to receive any further emails, please click the unsubscribe link in your email.Our mailing address is: Reef Check Australia1/377 Montague RdWest End, QLD 4101Australia  
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Around the Reef - Reef Check Australia - October 2021

October 01, 2021
Dear {{recipient.first_name_or_friend}}  It's October already, meaning Christmas is just around the corner (less than 90 days away...what!!!) With the beautiful spring weather upon us, our teams have taken advantage of the clear skies and have been busy spreading the ocean conservation message and cleaning up our beaches. This months email includes: Action of the Month: Conscious shopping News from the Field Brain Food Current Coral Affairs Get With the Program Conscious Shopping. Think about your purchases!  With Christmas just around the corner many people are busy creating gift lists, organising get togethers and preparing menus. It's a great opportunity to spend time with your friends, family and loved ones. For this months "Action of the month" we are asking everyone to think about where your Christmas products are coming from. How many kilometres have they travelled to get to you? How are they packaged and what they are made from? Following on from our July Action of the Month (Plastic Free July), we urge you to consider purchasing products locally (or at least in Australia), products made from recycled materials, items shipped in compostable or recycled packaging or ditching "stuff" altogether and think about giving experiences instead. When organising get togethers, don't use single use plates or cutlery. If you don't have a big picnic set, get everyone to bring their own reusable plates, cups and cutlery. This creates less waste, even paper plates and bamboo cutlery have to be disposed somewhere. These small actions add up to big wins for our environment. Next month we will bring you details of some small local businesses that you can support when ticking off your Christmas shopping list.   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 With our surveys all wrapped up for the moment, our team have been busy with information stalls, renewing their first aid certifications and helping with clean-ups. Gold Coast Whale Festival Reef Check Australia joined in the fun and festivities of the Gold Coast Whale Festival 2021 put on by Humpbacks & High-Rises. So many amazing groups came together to make the event a reality, and what a beautiful day to all meet up! Thank you to the City of Gold Coast for their support. Empowering people to protect our reefs and oceans is the core of what we do, and it would not be possible without ongoing support. Thank you also to our amazing volunteers for being so flexible and making it work! Photo credit: Angel Pesut, Mark Buckley and Nerida And thanks to the myriad of other groups that make such festivals possible! Spirit of Gold Coast Whale Watching Volunteering Gold Coast Sea Shepherd Australia Sea World Cruises Ocean Connect Sea World Research, Rescue & Conservation myGC Ngarang-Wal Gold Coast Aboriginal Association Incorporated City of Gold Coast Chloebehrens SSL Productions QLD Whales and Climate Griffith University First Aid Refresher Some of our team updated their first aid skills recently to make sure we are able to offer immediate response in the unlikely event of an emergency, either during our activities or in everyday life. Resuscitation is an important skill and one that we feel everyone should consider adding to their skillset. Microplastics Survey    On a beautiful spring day we had the privilege of joining Visionary Ocean Warriors for a clean up at Golden Beach and learn about undertaking AUSMap surveys for microplastics. We also watched as an enthusiastic group of young people sorted through the larger items of debris collected to be catalogued into the AMDI database. These people are the ocean guardians of the future and we commend them for their efforts. MEAM kicks off Finally after delays caused by bad weather and a false start caused by a COVID lockdown, the Mooloolaba Ecological Assessment and Mapping (MEAM) Team finally hit the reefs of the Sunshine Coast. Several of our Reef Checkers are part of this group run by UQ. They aim to map the shallow water reefs around Mooloolaba. Check out this video created using photogrammetry. Tallebudgera land based clean up Reef Check Australia and Gold Coast community volunteers joined forces to clean up Tallebudgera Creek on the Gold Coast earlier this month as a part of a series of beach and underwater clean ups run by Reef Check Australia to document and remove marine debris along the length of the Queensland coastline, looking at several key debris hotspots over a two year period. Tallebudgera won ‘Australia’s cleanest beach in the Keep Australia Beautiful Australian clean Beach awards’ in 2010/2011, however recent reports have shown that the area has become a hot spot for marine debris.  Two different methodologies to monitor and document debris in the area were used.  Microplastic surveys along the high tide mark showed no microplastics found in this area, however many lightweight plastics, beverage containers and ‘the usual suspects’ of plastic straws, cigarette butts and snack wrappers were found strewn amongst the vegetation; not unexpected due to the amount of wind experienced by the team on the day. However, the amount of plastic entwined in and under roots of nearby trees was a little unexpected; showing just how long such items hang around in the natural environment. The area is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike, as evidenced by the team early on a Monday workday morning. Whilst the rubbish only weighed 2 kg, it consisted primarily of lightweight plastic items, with 375 pieces of rubbish making up the haul from the team which illustrates just how easy it is to make a difference. As school holidays move into full swing, its important to remember to dispose of rubbish correctly wherever you are.  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! This project has received funding support from the Queensland Government’s Community Sustainability Action grant program. Tallebudgera underwater clean up Trained Reef Check Australia divers visited Tallebudgera Creek last week to undertake an underwater clean up below the surface of this popular location.  A beautiful sandy beach frequented by holiday makers and locals alike, the rock wall leading out to the ocean is a treasure trove of rocks, seaweeds, macroalgae, octopuses and nudibranchs. And Marine debris. The dive team removed 36m of fishing line and 11 pieces of fishing debris over a period of just 1 hour. The site is relatively shallow, and an important nursery for a variety of fish species. Further towards the river mouth, over 30 meters of fishing line and tens of lures were removed by snorkelers the day prior. All debris is removed (if safe to do so), disposed of safely and documented through the Australian Marine Debris Initiative. 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! This project has received funding support from the Queensland Government’s Community Sustainability Action grant program. Great Barrier Reef Horseshoe Bay, Magnetic Island beach clean up Reef Check Australia hosted a beach cleanup event at Horseshoe Bay, Magnetic Island as a result of collaborations between local Townsville and Magnetic Island residents and community groups. Our collective efforts resulted in more that 2.5km of beach cleaned, 13kg of debris removed from the natural environment and more than 800 individual items collected. Memorable items found were a tinny and bags of plant pest Prickly Pear which have been reported to local groups and council. An AUSMAP microplastics survey was also completed and we are so pleased to report that none were found however there were still many small items such 313 cigarette butts and almost 100 hard plastic remnants. Huge thankyou to Kaspa and Lawrence from @snorkeldownunder, MICDA, Townsville City Council and the wonderful team of Reef Check Volunteers and locals who helped on the day. 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! This project has received funding support from the Queensland Government’s Community Sustainability Action grant program.   Brain Food Reviews and details on books, documentaries, and podcasts that we have come across, & wanted to share. Life on the Brink - A series of podcasts where Gabe and Alex chat with conservationists and ask them the big questions. Check them out here    Radiolab - a platform for long-form journalism and storytelling. Apparently these 2 podcasts are pretty good! Did you know that our annual survey reports are available on our website? Head over to our website to view reports for the Great Barrier Reef and South East Queensland. Current Coral Affairs Check out some of the latest news and research about our ocean and waste reduction innovations:    Virgin sharks? Check out this article Baby shark born in all-female tank Australia a litter hot spot Did you know Australia is considered a litter hotspot? Litter Hotspots Get with the Program Here's what we've got coming up in the next few weeks, keep checking the website for more updates.  10 October 2021: Beach Clean Up - Bowen. Email [email protected] to register. 12 October 2021: Coast to Corals - Seaweed Solutions 18 October 2021: Beer Yoga 23 October 2021: Clean Up Dive Gold Coast Seaway. Email [email protected] for more details. 30 October 2021: Beach Clean Up - Forest Beach. Email [email protected] to register. 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 © 2021 Reef Check Australia, All rights reserved.You have received this newsletter because you have given Reef Check Australia your email address. If you would prefer not to receive any further emails, please click the unsubscribe link in your email.Our mailing address is: Reef Check Australia1/377 Montague RdWest End, QLD 4101Australia  
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Around the Reef - Reef Check Australia - September 2021 Update

September 06, 2021
Dear Suppporter Fathers day is fast approaching. Tired of buying "Stuff"? Instead of socks and jocks this year why not Adopt A Reef for Dad, a unique gift that also helps our reefs. Head on over to our website to find out more information. This months email includes: Action of the Month: Connect to Nature! News from the Field Brain Food Current Coral Affairs Get With the Program Get back to nature. Reconnect with the world around you!  Image from Geran De Klerk - Unsplash I recently read something along the lines of "If we can't connect to nature, how are we going to advocate for it?" and these words really resounded with me. We've seen that hashtag #protectwhatyoulove, meaning people only care about what they connect with. So, in order for more people to care and collectively make positive changes for the world around us, we need more people (including ourselves!) to connect with nature. A simple task, within reach for us all. Make time to go for a walk, listen to the birds, feel the wind on your skin, immerse yourself in the water, smell that flower or savour the taste of your morning coffee. Be present, soak it all in. What do you hear, smell, feel, touch, and even taste? Our lives are so busy these days. It's these small moments of mindfulness that create gratitude and a sense of appreciation and connection with what is around us that are more important than we realise. Immersion in nature is immensely beneficial to mental health as well as general wellbeing, especially in present times (look up tree bathing if you haven’t heard of it!) So, what will you make time for right now, to connect with nature and yourself?   News from the field Stories and updates from our teams out & about. Check out some of these regional stories on our website! South East Queensland Sunshine Coast Surveys The team took advantage of the weather, and jumped at the chance to check out Kings Beach; a local gem so often forgotten by many. It takes a bit of planning to visit Kings Beach; the tides, the visibility, the timing; everything has to be perfect. Luckily for the team all the conditions aligned perfectly, allowing us to get out and check in on one of our favourite local spots. Here is what Rachel McVeigh; RCA survey diver had to say; 'What a fabulous few days of local diving with the RCA Team! I’m always amazed at the diversity of corals right here in our watery back garden! It seemed like all the polyps were out feeding – what a delight to see! Its especially always a pleasure diving with Julie and Jodi because their expertise is phenomenal and they are so eager and ready to share their knowledge – thanks ladies! I’ve got to admit that I have a new crush! Egg Cowries! And we actually got to witness one on the Kings Beach survey laying eggs. Her gorgeous black-spotted mantle covering her smooth bright white shell underneath. Just amazing!' Want to see what Rachel is talking about? Check out the photos attached below. If you are interested in checking out this site for a snorkel; get in touch, we love to share information about our gorgeous local environments! This survey is made possible through funding through the Sunshine Coast Council Environment Levy Partnerships Grant. With such a good window of favourable weather conditions our teams also managed to complete three surveys at Mudjimba, one at the Inner Gneerings and three at Currimundi. Whilst it was a hectic few days we were super happy to get all of our surveys done following delays caused by poor visibility, windy weather and lockdowns. OH and on the last day out we were treated to a wonderful display by a pod of whales, dolphins and oh so many turtles! These surveys are made possible through funding through the Sunshine Coast Council Environment Levy Partnerships Grant. Plastic Free July Plastic free Sunshine Coast is a way to connect the community on the Sunshine Coast to come together and promote sustainability and plastic-free living - through beach clean-ups, showing eco swaps on social media, promoting and working with local small eco businesses, working with sustainability organisations and just providing a platform for all of these to come together. The event for Plastic Free July with the Sunshine Coast Council was the perfect example of providing this platform for everyone to come together and it was very special! Was such an amazing day with 25kgs of rubbish picked up, 23 eco business stalls, sustainability workshops, live music and a plastic-free coffee van! plastic free Sunshine Coast hopes to deliver more events like this again to the community. Although 23kg might not seem like much, every little bit counts, and of this, hundreds of pieces of small, lightweight plastic was removed from the environment. A Day on the Bay Brisbane-based Reef Check Ambassador Krystel Stevenson and Adriana Robayo attended a community engagement opportunity with River to Bay Brisbane. The group runs a range of river tours from bar hopping to Island hopping. The tour we attended was the Best of Moreton consisting of a snorkel at Tangalooma wrecks, lunch at Stradbroke Island and a history tour at St Helena Island. This opportunity allowed Reef Check to engage with the community. Whilst snorkelling with the guests we were able to point out different species and guests even helped us fill out a ReefSearch slate. We then spoke about the important work Reef Check does and provided ways the community can assist in supporting our reefs, the conversation continuing over lunch. It was a great day filled with sunshine, laughs and wildlife. Great Barrier Reef During the Reef Leadership workshop on Orpheus Island back in March, the snorkellers were very excited when they encountered a VERY large Porites coral. At 5.3m tall and 10.4m wide it turns out it is one of the oldest on the Great Barrier Reef, estimated to be 400 years old. Read about it here!   Brain Food Reviews and details on books, documentaries, and podcasts that we have come across, & wanted to share. Books   Reef Life: An Underwater Memoir by Callum Roberts In this book Callum recounts his work on coral reefs, starting from his first introduction to coral as a University student through to recent times as an acknowledged professional. His story's highlight the shifting baseline syndrome and how this makes people blind to past losses when they set their baseline by what they first see. Inheritors of the Earth by Chris D. Thomas For anyone interested in conservation this book provides an interesting perspective on changing biodiversity. You may not agree with everything the author says, but it is worth considering opinions that may differ from yours. If nothing else you may learn something you did not know, I know that I did.   Current Coral Affairs Check out some of the latest news and research about our ocean and waste reduction innovations:    Apparently female octopuses throw things at males that are harassing them, who knew?. Read more in New Scientist   Check out this neat video about research being done using Drones to monitor turtles. It also highlights the work of Reef Check Malaysia and the work they are doing to address plastic pollution.   Get with the Program Here's what we've got coming up in the next few weeks, keep checking the website for more updates.    6 September 2021: Beer Yoga 8 September 2021: Clean Up Dive Gold Coast Seaway (email [email protected] for more details) 13 September 2021: Clean Up Dive Tallebudgera Creek (email [email protected] for more details) 14 September 2021: Coast to Corals - East meets West: Conservation efforts in the UAE If you missed any of our Coast to Coral online events, remember you can always catch-up by taking a look at our YouTube Channel here     Thanks for reading! If you want to help our work to empower more people to protect Australian reefs, please consider making a monthly tax-deductible donation.    Make a Donation
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Around the Reef - Reef Check Australia - August 2021 Update

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