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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!

Reef 101 on the Sunshine Coast

April 10, 2018
With lots of training opportunities coming up on the Sunshine Coast for reef surveyors and ambassadors, we wanted to make sure we didn't leave out those people who want to learn a bit more about their local reefs and reef ecology but who might not have the time to commit to taking on an active role with RCA. Our half-day Reef 101 workshop provided locals with training in our REEFSearch identification and observation program. The workshop is designed to boost understanding and identification skills for reef ecology - so next time you're out on the reef you'll know exactly what you're looking at!You don't need any science experience - just an interest in protecting our reefs and oceans.  Here's what one of our participants had to say: "The Reef 101 Course was a fantastic learning opportunity for everyone involved! Jodi gave us a great introduction on reef ecology, in which we were able to compare different types of coral, substrates, invertebrates and their habitats. We also learnt how to use our reef ID kits in a practical exercise, to help us with determining signs of healthy vs unhealthy reefs and to identify areas affected by coral bleaching events. The group participating in the course were of different ages and levels of experience. Everyone seemed really enthused and ready to learn with a common interest of a love for our reefs and a focus on wanting to protect them.  Many of us did not realise just how incredible our local reefs are- right on our doorstep! This course has further encouraged us all to begin our journey as citizen scientists, helping to conduct valuable research at our local reef hotspots.   The Reef Check team are doing such amazing things for our oceans and are constantly educating us. By allowing us to become a part of the research process we are extremely lucky! Protect our reefs! So many of our amazing creatures and critters depend on them and it is impossible to imagine a world without them! "   Hayley Doblo (One Free Sea) This workshop was supported by the Sunshine Coast Council. 
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The Hackathon Report

April 08, 2018
Jules Lim, Reef Check Volunteer recently attended a "Hackathon" at the James Cook University Cairns Campus, hosted by Myriad. The aim was to bring scientists, industry experts, educators, community members and reef lovers together to collaborate on brainstorming solutions to problems faced by coral reefs. The specific problem for the day? Plastic pollution on the reef. Guest speakers included traditional owners, microplastics researchers, conservation campaigners and design thinkers .   Everyone was given a crash-course on 'How to Pitch' (in one minute!) before the main group splintered into smaller focus groups who then entered the Hackathon's three main phases of "Immersion", "Ideation" and "Delivery". The day culminated with each group presenting its idea to a panel of experts, who provided feedback, further tips and development ideas. Jules sums the Hackathon up as "a fun and experiential day spent in like-minded, inspiring company. I learnt how to truly submerge myself in a team-focused challenge in finding practical solutions to a multifaceted problem.If there ever was a time to formulate innovative ideas to help our coral reefs, it is now." 
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Brisbane Ambassadors' Workshop!

April 01, 2018
Our latest Ambassadors’ workshop in Brisbane was a huge success, and our 18 amazing Ambassadors are now out there educating and inspiring change in their communities! It was a busy four days, and great to see so much passion from so many reef-minded people. Congratulations to all of our Reef Ambassadors for completing the course. We are so excited to see the wonderful work and projects these inspiring people will do in their communities! Big thanks to Queensland Environment Department Community Sustainability Action Grants and Port Of Brisbane for supporting this initiative. 
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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.
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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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