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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!

Free Documentary Screening - BLUE - Get The Lowdown!

August 10, 2019
  Reef Check Australia was proud to be part of the Plastic Free July initiative for 2019 by hosting a free movie screening of the critically acclaimed documentary “Blue” in the EPSON Lumen Room at Metro Arts in Brisbane.         The documentary highlighted how significant of an impact single use plastic has on the world we live in. Single use plastic is one of the most pressing issues facing our marine environments today. It is estimated that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the sea than fish. There’s over 11 BILLION pieces of plastic debris on coral reefs in the Asia-Pacific region alone. It has devastating effects on our environment, wildlife and even our food chain!       This movie was perfect for Plastic Free July. Whilst highlighting the shocking effects single use plastic has on life as we know it, it also shared the important message that it is not too late to make positive changes for healthier oceans and wildlife. Every one of us can make a difference. Whether it's choosing to say no to single use plastic, deciding to replace, reuse or recycle, or simply picking up rubbish or debris next time we go for a walk at the park or beach.       A special mention to the lovely team at The Source Bulk Foods Store at Bulimba for donating the corn kernels that were popped fresh on the day for the audience to munch on! Pat and her daughter Abby own this beautiful store that has an array of foods and ingredients that you can purchase all SINGLE USE PLASTIC FREE! This event was proudly supported by Queensland Government Community Sustainability Action Grant.
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Whitsundays Winter Surveys!

August 08, 2019
  Over the weekend of 20 July Reef Check Australia ventured into the waters of the Whitsundays to complete surveys across the region. GBR Coordinator Nathan Cook was accompanied  by Reef Check divers Richard Knight and newly certified RCA diver Ben Corbishley to undertake 5 surveys at offshore Hardy Reef, and nearshore reefs at Luncheon and Butterfly Bay, Hook Island and Blue Pearl Bay, Hayman Island.     The offshore reefs were looking ok with signs of good recovery from the devastating effects of Cyclone Debbie. Inshore, the story was quite different with low coral cover recorded at Luncheon and Blue Pearl Bay. Despite this, we did notice some signs of recovery with new coral recruits evident across all sites.     This project is funded by the partnership between the Australian Government’s Reef Trust and the Great Barrier Reef Foundation. We are also thankful to Cruise Whitsundays and Ocean Rafting for their invaluable logistical support to access the sites. 
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RCA at the Noosa Parks Association!

July 30, 2019
  Our Community Engagement and SEQ Projects Manager, Jodi Salmond, joined the Noosa Parks Association's Friday Forum recently to share her knowledge of our local SEQ reefs.     Dianne Shun Wah, Friday Forum Organiser from the Noosa Parks Association, gave us her thoughts on the talk: 'Many of us thought we knew about reefs, but I am pleased to say, we now realise that there is so much more to learn. Jodi's talk was full of easy to understand information as well as being fun!! What a great combination. You have clearly learned some incredible ways to explain underwater facts…. the skill of a great communicator. A great morning had by all!"     Thanks to Dianne for the invite and for her kind words, and to Noosa Council for supporting our work in this region
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World Ocean's Day Clean Up!

June 26, 2019
  This month, some of the awesome RCA Brisbane team ran a clean up at Amity Point for World Ocean's Day. They were pleasantly surprised to see the park and beach areas were already really clean.       The underwater team concentrated their work in and around the boat ramp, which is a popular spot for fishing, and collected 3kgs of marine debris. Unsurprisingly, the rubbish collected was largely fishing line, lures and sinkers.     Thanks to the Sylvia Earle Alliance & the Queensland Government Citizen Science Grant for supporting our work in this region.  
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World Environment Day Festival 2019

June 11, 2019
  The always awesome World Environment Day (WED) festival was held in Rotary Park, Cotton Tree on the Sunshine Coast 2nd June 2019. Celebrated in over 100 countries to build awareness and action for the protection of our environment, WED on the Sunshine Coast attracted some thousands of people despite forecasted showers. Despite the bursts of heavy rain and on-and-off showers, our Reef Ambassadors and Surveyors spent the day engaging with members of the public, sharing their passion for reef conservation, and discussing ways individuals can make small behaviour changes to help protect the oceans.   Many visitors to our stall were shocked to see a photo of a pristine coral reef and learn that the image was taken at local Mudjimba Island. We also had a number of divers approach us and share their keenness to get involved with Reef Check's citizen science.  The team also decided to change it up this year by offering mugs to patrons as an alternative to the usual single use coffee cups. These quirky cups, inscribed "you've just been mugged" with the reef check logo, were at hit! Our dedicated team handed them out at each coffee stall to patrons who seemed relieved to have a guilt free alternative (and enjoyed the pun as well). It was wonderful to witness many people wandering around the festival toting our mugs and keep cups, with few opting for the single use alternative. We are taking this as a great success, so get ready to be 'mugged' by us at the next WED!   Overall, a great day was had by all and we were stoked to be involved in World Environment Day. Hats off to the organisers, see you next year!
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A Note From Our Chair

June 03, 2019
    Friends and Colleagues,   Reef Check Australia is non-partisan, rightly and proudly so.  Our volunteers, staff and board members come from all walks of life and political persuasions.  What binds us together is our fascination and deep love for the environment, coupled with respect for the scientific method as a pathway to greater knowledge and rational action.   Many of us are feeling a sense of loss and grief as we see our political leaders and the wider polity step away from decisive action to manage the single largest threat to reef ecosystems – climate change.  We face choices, as individuals and as an organisation. One choice is to retreat.  The safety of the lounge chair, Netflix and a very large drink is attractive.  We can hide.  We can take a moment and recharge. One choice is to step hard into a fight. We can march, rally and shout.  We can disobey, disrupt and deny those who continue to systematically destroy this planet. One choice is to stay the course.  We can, despite the confusion in our heads, the sickness in our guts and the sadness in our hearts, breathe deeply and reflect on our place and our role.  We can just keep going. These choices are not fixed forever.  If you’re feeling beaten down, it’s OK. A choice to withdraw today doesn’t preclude a fight tomorrow.  To choose to fight can manifest in different ways.  Each of us can make our own choice.  I’m not sure whether it is accurate or not that Buckminster Fuller, the legendary architect, was once depressed and suicidal, but the story goes that one of the things that helped lift him out of his depression was a question he asked himself. That question was ‘What work is it that wouldn’t get done if I wasn’t around to do it?’ This is a powerful question that asks us to consider our purpose.  It’s from our purpose that our actions flow.  It’s from our purpose that I can say what choice we’re going to make as an organisation.  Reef Check Australia is not going to retreat and we aren’t going to rest.  Reef Check Australia exists so that we can feel hope and feel connected and be active.  We exist so that our community can be active and contribute positively to the knowledge about reefs.  This purpose has not changed.  The rationality of science, data and action is still real.  There is a need for us, our community, our expeditions, our outreach and our data.  That need hasn’t diminished, it has amplified – become more urgent.  In my mind we stay the course but fight even harder to do so.  We don’t change our purpose or our tactics, but we work harder and do more.  There is only one way for us to do that.  We need you to volunteer, to dive, to support outreach and to help us raise funds.  We exist as a community because we care and because we have hope. And we need you with us.  We need to be stronger.  Our strength comes from you.   Richard
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