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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!

First Surveys For 2019 Done And Dusted!

February 19, 2019
Our SEQ dive teams have kicked off the 2019 season with visits to Moreton Bay and the Sunshine Coast, First up, Reef Check surveyors visited some of our inshore Moreton Bay sites in the second week of January, at St Helena, Mud Island and Green Island. The sites, which RCA aims to visit twice a year, are very close to the river, and urban development along the shore, making it a challenging environment for the coral communities that inhabit the area! With high silt loading and a lot of sediment in the water, it can also make for challenging diving conditions, but our surveyor team did a fantastic job of getting the surveys done at four of our sites! They found plenty of coral battling away, some interesting species of fish, including goatfish, snapper, some wobbegongs and a few sargassum filefish! Thanks to the team at Moreton Bay Research Station for helping us get out to these sites and to the Port of Brisbane Pty Ltd for supporting our surveys. And of course to our amazing surveyors for their hard work!     A Reef Check team also had the pleasure of visiting South East Queensland's most spectacular dive site, Flinders Reef, on the 20th of January. Flinders is home to an incredibly diverse range of marine and coral species, and most renowned for its beautiful large plate and branching corals! Reef Check Australia have been surveying sites at Flinders since 2007, and we have a number of monitoring sites there. Strong currents made it difficult to navigate to the first survey site, but our fantastic team of surveyors managed to complete a survey at our Alden's Cave site and collected an array of fantastic images for updating our surveyor training material! Thanks to Adreno, Scuba Shane and Supercat Charters for putting the trip together, and to the Queensland Government Community Sustainability Action Grant for supporting our activities and surveys in the Moreton Bay area. As ever we couldn't achieve this without our awesome team of surveyors, and special thanks to Gary Cranitch for the incredible images!       Our Sunshine Coast team also recently got out on the water at beautiful Bullcock Beach to do a survey - and didn't miss the opportunity to add in a clean up while they were there as part of the Clean Up for the Hatchlings event. Great work team!         With plans in place to pick up our in water activities in both the Gold Coast and Noosa regions this year, it's going to be a busy time for our Scuba Surveyors!  Don't forget, there's still time to registered your expression of interest for the upcoming Scuba Surveyor training courses in the Brisbane/Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast/Noosa regions. 
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Clean Up For The Hatchlings!

February 05, 2019
February 2nd saw the always popular annual Clean Up for the Hatchlings event at La Balsa park, which is an important area for turtles, but also very popular with human visitors. And unfortunately where there are large numbers of humans, there is also inevitably going to be rubbish!                                               This collaborative event is organised by Reef Check Australia, Sea Life Mooloolaba and the Sunshine Coast Council. Reef Check Australian teams took part in clean ups both in and out of the water, with teams of snorkelling and dive volunteers collecting marine rubbish.                                                              Over 700 volunteers took part in the clean up across the region and over 1.5 tonnes of marine debris was collected. This almost doubles last year's collection of 800kg!  This year, land based volunteers found a lot of foil based confetti, along with  zip ties, plastic clasps from bread bags, and dog waste bags. Meanwhile the dive and snorkel teams picked up lots of bottles and aluminum cans - items which easily be recycled through the new Sunshine Coast container refund scheme, Containers for Change.                                                                                          Marine debris is a huge threat to turtles young and old, who can end up eating plastics and other items. We can all help the hatchlings every day, simply by reducing our landfill and plastic waste! 
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ReefBlitz 2018!

January 08, 2019
  Reef Check Australia, as part of the Reef Citizen Science Alliance, has been proud to be a part of ReefBlitz 2018 - an annual citizen science program that has been more important ever during the third International Year of the Reef.  The results are in, and 2018 saw ReefBlitz clock up an amazing 1654 participants, 55 events, 38,392 data points, 3700 volunteer hours and over 40 partners.  Reef Check Australia staff and volunteers got involved in events including the Magnetic Island, Townsville clean up and the University of Queensland's Uni Dive 24 Hours Under Water for the Love of the Reef action. The team also set up a new ReefBlitz survey site at La Balsa Park on the Sunshine Coast, spotting the small white little nudibranch (Trapania gibbera) for the first time ever within the river during the process! Check out the ReefBlitz annual story for more info. And a huge thank you to all Reef Checkers who took part in this years' research and events.   
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Kicking Off 2019 With An Official Welcome To Our New GM!

January 02, 2019
  Our new General Manager, Joanne Needham, has been working away behind the scenes for the last couple of  months of 2018, but we think the New Year is a good time to officially welcome her to the Reef Check Australia team  and share a bit about her with you.         Joanne has a unique blend of skills that she brings to the team, along with a positive and energetic attitude which is much appreciated (not to mention essential) here!  She has a long history of working in the charity sector, being a part of Girl Guiding both in Australia and the UK as a member and a leader for more than 20 years, as well as working for The Refugee Council whilst living in the UK. She also has a stong background in finance, with over a decades’ work as a Management Accountant in both the UK and Australia. And she backs up her love of the ocean with a Bachelor of Marine Science Honours degree with a major in marine biology & ecology from The University of Queensland. We are happy and excited to have Joanne on board as we build on our essential work to protect our marine environments in 2019!
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Reef Ambassador and Scuba Surveyor Training Courses - Apply Now!

December 24, 2018
  Expressions of interest are now open for both Reef Surveyor and Reef Ambassador training in 2019 - so keep reading and get your application in ASAP if this sounds like you!   Be A Reef Check Scuba Surveyor Reef Check Scuba Surveyor training is a fun way to meet a tribe of reef-mind people, find out more about our beautiful reefs, boost your dive skills and build your capacity to actively contribute to scientific research. You don't need to have previous science or survey experience--we'll provide you with comprehensive training to safely collect great quality data to help look after reefs.  We'll be running training courses both for Brisbane and the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast region in 2019. So if you're a PADI Advanced Open Water diver, or equivalent, and you've always wanted to get more involved in reef research - now is your chance!      Expression of Interest Forms - Scuba Surveyor Training Brisbane and Gold Coast: Expressions of Interest Form For SCUBA Surveyor Training, March 2019 Sunshine Coast: Expressions of Interest Form For SCUBA Surveyor Training, May 2019   Be A Reef Ambassador Our Reef Ambassador program is a ground breaking project, training community outreach volunteers to actively inspire, motivate and support their communities to better understand and help protect local marine environments. Reef Ambassadors are reef role models who actively empower their communities to better understand and help protect marine environments at a local level. If this sounds like something you'd love to be involved in, then apply now!       Expressions of Interest Forms - Reef Ambassador Training: Brisbane and Gold Coast: Expression of Interest Form For Reef Ambassador Training, March 2019 Sunshine Coast: Expression of Interest Form For Reef Ambassador Training, May 2019   Check out the calendar for more info on all these training sessions!    
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Moreton Bay 2018 - It's a Wrap!

December 18, 2018
The Brisbane team has had a super busy year during 2018 and they're finally winding down for the festive season. But they wanted to go out with a bang - fitting in a range of events in and out of  the water to round off a productive year. So here's just a few highlights from their end of year activities: Reef Check Australia staff and volunteers attended the Moreton Bay Research Station Open Day in November, to celebrate 56 years of their fantastic work facilitating and supporting education and scientific research. The survey teams have relied heavily on the staff and resources at the station to help get them out to many of our long-term monitoring sites in Moreton Bay this year, so we were very proud to be involved on the day! Project Coordinator Rory Mulloy gave a brief presentation on Reef Check Australia's survey findings and volunteer activities in the region. Thanks to Reef Ambassadors Britt and Sue for coming along to help spread the word about citizen science and local reefs! Thanks to the Queensland Government's Community Sustainability Action Grant, and the Port of Brisbane Pty Ltd for their support in making these events happen.     You don't have to travel far in South East Queensland to find a surprisingly beautiful underwater world. Our surveyors have visited some incredible sites this year and the last survey trip of the season was no different, with our team jumping in off the Amity Point boat ramp to find an interesting array of reef fish, wobbegongs, nudibranchs, and even a humpback dolphin. Unfortunately they also found a large amount of marine debris, in particular fishing line, so the team also conducted an underwater clean up as well as a survey! Divers managed to remove fishing line which was wrapped around branching coral, sinkers and lures, and old bottles. A very worthwhile addition to this survey trip. These activities were proudly supported by the  Queensland Government Community Sustainability Action Grants.   Finally, to round off a brilliant year of Coast to Coral talks, Johan Gustafson spoke to a full house at the Bearded Lady about his work tagging and tracking hammerhead sharks in South East Queensland. His research has helped identify hammerhead pupping grounds in the region, and to better understand the movements and behaviours of this species. Sharks always seem to capture people's imaginations, but we have had a whole range of fascinating topics in 2018. Talks have covered habitat restoration, dolphin acoustics, sea-grass meadows, and even how diving on the reef virtually from your own home can contribute to citizen science, and help monitor the state of the Reef. The talks will resume in February 2019, and we already have more fantastic speakers lined up! Thanks to the Queensland Government Community Sustainability Action Grant for their continued support with these talks.     Thanks to all our volunteers and supporters who have helped make this year so productive in the Moreton Bay region. We can't wait to see what 2019 will bring!
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