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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!

Welcome to our Newest Team Member!

March 21, 2019
  The Reef Check Australia team is excited to be joined by our new Great Barrier Reef Project Coordinator! Nathan Cook is an applied scientist and specialist in coral reef restoration and capacity building. He has been a passionate advocate for sustainability and stewardship in coral reef ecosystems in South East Asia and Australia for nearly 20 years.   A PADI Master Instructor with over 3500 dives, Nathan became a Reef Check Indo-Pacific Instructor trainer in 2013, pioneering an innovative coral reef conservation program in Thailand. He has led and taught coral reef survey programs, practical coral reef conservation and marine resource management, and designed and implemented a range of experiential learning programs, including curricula focused on integrating the theory of marine management with active reef restoration techniques development and installation of coral nurseries and artificial reefs.  Nathan combines his skills and experience to pursue his passion for supporting developing countries in creating self-sustaining systems of conservation and preservation of their coral reef ecosystems. We are thrilled to have Nathan joining our team and look forward to getting busy on the GBR over the coming months!
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Clean Up Australia Day With RCA!

March 12, 2019
Reef Check Australia were proud to be part of this year's Clean Up Australia Day - which has become Australia's largest community based environmental event! Our Brisbane team were invited over to Straddie by the The Stradbroke Island Management Organisation (SIMO) to participate in a clean up of Main Beach, at Point Lookout. Our fantastic team of Reef Ambassadors helped collect over 170kg of debris, including 90,000 pieces of plastic, and an estimated 885 fishing glow sticks.       Emmie (a Straddie local), said that it was 'shocking seeing the amount of glow sticks from the fishing industry!', but added that it was awesome to see 'so many passionate people willing to do their bit' and take part in the clean up. Thank you to the team for doing such a fantastic job, to SIMO for having us participate, and thanks to the Queensland Government Community Sustainability Action Grant for supporting our activities and clean ups in the region!   Meanwhile, Reef Check Australia on the Sunshine Coast was joined by Plastic Free Noosa and Councillor Joe Jurasevic for a clean up of the Noosa Marina on Friday as part of activities for Clean Up Australia Day.  Despite the weather, teams managed to remove hundreds of bits of styrofoam, small bits of plastic, fishing debris and cigarette butts from the water and coastline.  We will continue the investigation as to what is making up the debris in the area as soon as the weather decides to play nice! Thank you to everyone who came and lent a hand on the day, and to Noosa Council for supporting this Clean Up Australia Day event.  
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March For The Environment!

February 26, 2019
March is one of the busiest months of the year when it comes to calls to action, so here's a reminder of what's coming up that you might like to get involved with!   If you haven't already, please consider signing up to be part of a Clean Up Australia Day event near you this Sunday (3rd March).  Clean up Australia Day started in 1989, when founder Ian Kiernan decided to try and clean up Sydney Harbour. It has since become Australia’s largest community-based environmental event. Whether it’s signing up to an event in your area, creating an event yourself or simply setting yourself a task like picking up ten pieces of trash on 3rd March – we can all get involved!   March 22nd marks World Water Day - a UN event which aims to draw awareness to the lack of safe water for many - aiming to bring water to all by 2030. Visit their website to find out how you can get involved and help raise awareness that "Whoever you are, wherever you are, water is your human right".    Last but certainly not least, don't forget to sign up for Earth Hour on 30th March! We hope you'll all be joining us in switching off to show your support for this call for climate action.    And please check out our Take Action pages for more info on how you can help protect our reefs and oceans every day!      
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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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