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

GBR 2018 season kicks off

March 10, 2018
After a big February of training the Great Barrier Reef survey team, we have kicked off the 2018 survey season up in Cairns and headed out with long-term industry champion Reef Magic Cruises to Marine World at Moore Reef to survey long-term sites. Our team was lucky enough to bump into big schools of Humphead Parrotfish. The survey team then joined another long-term industry champion, Down Under Dive, to survey Saxon and Hasting reefs. Blessed with fantastic conditions they were able to survey both recent and historic sites and were very lucky to be visited by inquisitive hawksbill and green turtles.  The team also visited new sites on Fitzroy Island to continue building coverage of reefs closer to the coast. Our Cairns surveys activities in 2018 are supported by the Clarke's One for Tomorrow program and donations from people like you!  
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More champions for the Reef

February 20, 2018
We recently trained a new crew of enthusiastic Reef Ambassadors in Townsville. Ambassadors will now be out in the community working with partners on a range of exciting local projects for the Reef. One of the amazing group of volunteers who recently undertook the Reef Ambassador training program in Townsville was 15 year old Kailash Cook - our youngest ambassador to date. We were thrilled that the Townsville Bulletin decided to run a full page write up on Kailash and his participation in the program. Kailash is an incredible advocate and his passion for raising awareness and educating others on how they can help protect our reefs is truly inspiring to everyone.Ambassadors have already been busy running ocean conservation pledges at James Cook University, teaming up with Reef Ecologic at the Ocean Film Festival and whipping up a series of hand-sewn reusable bags! Watch this space! Thanks to Townsville City Council and Clarke's One For Tomorrow program for supporting the Townsville Reef Ambassadors program. https://youtu.be/MTxAUaU84s4
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International Year of the Reef

January 01, 2018
2018 is the third International Year of the Reef, bringing focus to initiatives that engage people around the world in understanding, appreciating and protecting reefs.  We've got big plans for 2018 and you can help!  Surveying and reporting on 100 reef sites Launching Reef Ambassadors on the Sunshine Coast Building on Reef Ambassador programs in Brisbane and Townsville Releasing a series of Ocean Action Kits to help you do more great work for oceans Launching a new website to make it easier for you to join us on the journey        
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Its all happening on Heron Island

November 10, 2017
For the seventh consecutive year, an RCA team joined the University of Queensland Remote Sensing Research Centre and James Cook University She Flies Drone teams on Heron Island for a week-long reef health monitoring expedition. The team surveyed 16 sites around the Island, contributing long-term reef condition data to support a 16 year effort by UQ RSRC to track reef habitat around this beautiful island. Our busy team reaped the rewards with some amazing scenes of healthy coral, a myriad of sharks and rays and so many turtles! Stay tuned for the Heron Island Report due out shortly! Huge thanks to the University of Queensland Remote Sensing for leading the expedition, and Heron Island Research Centre and Heron Island Resort for their in-kind support of this project.
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Communicating with Impact

September 30, 2017
We're working with Dr Angela Dean from University of Queensland's Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions on a science communication project for Moreton Bay / Quandamooka Reef Ambassadors. Our Brisbane Reef Ambassadors enjoyed an awesome science communications workshop to fine-tune communication skills for a wide array of audiences and think about ways to start enacting practical behaviour changes in their network of family, friends and colleagues. One of our participants labelled it "a refreshing and wildly useful new slant on how to share our critical message with our stunning part of the world!"The workshop wrapped up with some very powerful brainstorming of actions we can take to help promote science, environmental and sustainability messages to the community... we're working on rolling these out, so stay tuned! As part of ReefBlitz we also had the chance to get out and about in Moreton Bay and put some messages into practice, working with Moreton Bay Environmental Education Centre and CoralWatch to take a tour of Brisbane's unique city corals using towed underwater videos and hosting a crash course in some citizen science methodologies. This project is proudly supported by Advance Queensland. 
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Data set 81: Checking maps for Great Sandy reefs

September 17, 2017
Checking up on reef habitat in the Great Sandy Strait In September 2016, 17 community volunteers joined in workshops and field activities to increase current knowledge about reef habitats across the Great Sandy Strait.  Extensive habitat maps have been developed for the Great Sandy/Wide Bay Burnett state waters through the draft Queensland Intertidal and Subtidal Benthic Classification scheme. The first habitat map for the intertidal and marine habitats uses 29 benthic habitat types, based on 80 existing datasets from a range of research and management projects across the region.  However, the combined datasets, high resolution satellite imagery and expert mapping advice identified a number of potential reefal areas that required ground truthing for validation. This project was designed to engage citizen scientists in ground-truthing activities along the length of the Great Sandy Strait to help refine data for available reef habitat maps. Volunteers contributed dataset 81, providing first hand field data on the habitat composition for these locations.   Two interactive workshops prepared participants with a crash course in reef ecology, benthic identification skills and data collection procedures. Many volunteers then joined us in the field to put their new skills into practice! Dataset 81 Expedition  From Urangan to Tin Can Bay, volunteers visited areas key reefal areas to conduct hundreds of spot checks via a combination of drop cameras, viewing buckets and snorkel surveys. We were lucky enough to undertake this expedition onboard the Science Under Sail vessel, MV Velella, a 12m sailing catamaran with a small support vessel (a 3.6m RIB). The weather was on our side, for 5 days of Great Sandy Marine Park at its finest!  Our team explored a range of reef habitats, sometimes confirming areas of coral or sponge habitat, sometimes finding, well, lots of sand. Its all important and the crew enjoyed the process of discovery, knowing it was providing an important contribution to maps that can support best-practice science and management for this beautiful and unique part of the world.  In addition to data collection, participants also helped with data management onboard the boat and learned about the unique marine habitats of Great Sandy Marine Park. There was plenty of plotting too, with talk of more spot checks, plans by local Seagrass Watch volunteers to cross-reference their new reef knowledge and integration of mapping data collection into more detailed marine surveys of Norman Point and Seary's Ledge. Next steps The spot check data will now be reviewed and assessed by UQ's Remote Sensing Research Centre, who will create a digital spatial data file outlining the extent of the reef inventory areas, which can be shared and discussed with project partners. We are also working on creating a matrix of category references to directly link RCA habitat mapping data with the Queensland Intertidal and Subtidal Benthic Classification scheme, directly integrating datasets and providing a framework for other projects to utilise.  Project support This project is supported through the Burnett Mary Regional Group Keeping It Great grants with funding from the National Landcare Program. Thank you to project partners including The University of Queensland Remote Sensing Research Centre, Science Under Sail and Cooloola Coastcare. A special thank you to Maria Zann, Chris Roelfsema, James Udy and Maree Prior for their sage guidance and general awesomeness. 
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Coast to Coral launch in Brisbane

June 30, 2017
We've launched the Moreton Bay Coast to Coral talk series! The Brisbane talk series has been built on the successful model of our first Sunshine Coast series, proving a monthly opportunity for a community catch up fuelled by curiosity, pizza, and passion for all things ocean!The launch of this initiative has been championed by two of our Reef Ambassadors, Tania Kenyon and Courtney Morgans. Tania has helped this new event series find its feet through her Layne Beachley Aim for the Stars Scholarship. "This scholarship gave me the confidence to help get this event off the ground, and funding meant we could print promotional materials and a beautiful A-frame for Reef Check events in Brisbane. The first two talk series events have been a massive success, with a packed house each evening. It was amazing to see so many engaged and interesting people in one room, listening to a great talks about the evolving legacy of reef citizen science by Dr Chris Roelfsema and the wonders and conservation challenges of migratory shorebirds with Micha Jackson."
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Seaside Scavenge launch in North Queensland

June 17, 2017
We were thrilled to team up with the crew at Seaside Scavenge to run the first ever events for North Queensland and launch an official local Scavenge Chapter!  Putting a new spin on coastal clean-ups, these events fuse music, art, to trade clean up trash for second-hand treasures! In the first event on Magnetic Island, many were surprised to find many small pieces of debris even in areas that looked relatively clean. We had over 100 people stop more than 200kg of debris from reaching our oceans. Wanna encourage some of your own introspection about your footprint? Check out ABC's War on Waste. An incredible number of prizes were donated by local businesses to get everyone Scavenging up a storm. Pre-loved clothes, books, toys and more that were donated by the local community. A massive thanks to everyone involved! Without the dedication on the day from our incredible crew of volunteers sorting and recording data for Tangaroa Blue’s Australian Marine Debris Database and local support from Magnetic Island Nature Care Association, this event would not have been possible.  This event was made possible with support from NQ Dry Tropics through the National Landcare Programme, Townsville City Council and a range of awesome local businesses,
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