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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 Check Australia and TOMRA Using Change To Make Change Happen!

September 10, 2019
  Reef Check Australia is thrilled to be selected to receive donations through TOMRA’s Recycling Centres located across South East QLD. Until Sunday 3rd November 2019, the screens of all TOMRA Reverse Vending Machines will list Reef Check Australia as a donation partner. TOMRA is one of the network operators for the Containers For Change deposit scheme in QLD. Launched on 1st November 2018, the Containers for Change scheme aims to incentivize people to recycle the drink containers that are commonly left as litter.     Recycling is one of the simple everyday steps we can all take to help reduce our impact on our marine ecosystems. Reef Check Australia has developed an Ocean Action Kit to help people address the issue of single use plastic waste, along with lots of everyday action tips on how we can all reduce our environmental impact. So to help us all improve our recycling efforts and keep our beautiful environment litter-free, the Containers for Change scheme offers a 10 cent refund for each eligible container, which can either be collected by the individual or donated to the not-for-profit organisations that are partnering with TOMRA TOMRA Collection Solutions Australia is part of the TOMRA Group, which creates sensor-based solutions for optimal resource productivity and has a vision to lead the Resource Revolution. Find out more at www.mytomra.com.au.
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News Release: In Light of New Report, Reef Check Australia Calls for An Increased Focus On Citizen Science To Save The Great Barrier Reef

September 03, 2019
  Following the release of the Great Barrier Reef Outlook Report 2019 from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, and the downgrading of the marine park’s outlook from “poor” to “very poor”, Reef Check Australia is calling on State and Federal Governments, the business sector and individuals to take urgent action to protect our fragile reef systems.    As expected, climate change was named as the most significant threat to the GBR’s long-term outlook and significant global action was deemed critical. As the report in brief outlined, “The Region was at a crossroads in 2009, with an opportunity for its long-term outlook to be improved through timely actions. In 2014, assessments indicated all threats needed to be reduced to prevent the Region’s overall condition worsening from poor. Since then, the outlook for the Region’s ecosystem has become very poor. Climate change is escalating and is the most significant threat to the Region’s long-term outlook.”   “Our volunteer citizen scientists see first hand the pressures of climate change and other human impacts, such as poor water quality, marine debris and unsustainable fishing, and how they are impacting reefs from the North of the Great Barrier Reef all the way to Moreton Bay and the Gold Coast” says Reef Check Australia’s General Manager Joanne Needham “The state of individual reefs are variable but the reality is there is a long term deteriorating trend. Reef Check Australia are calling for increased investment in community programs and citizen science to identify, understand and address the threats to our reef ecosystems.”   Reef Check Australia is the country’s largest volunteer reef science organisation and has been monitoring our reefs for 18 years. “We know that over the last 18 years reef health has deteriorated and continues to do so.  If we don’t act to limit climate change and other impacts, there is no doubt that we will be the last generation to see the Great Barrier Reef as it is today” Reef Check Australia’s Chairman, Richard Coleman explains.  “Reef Check Australia intends to work harder than ever to ensure that won’t be the case. We will continue to put high quality longitudinal data into the hands of policy makers, in the hopes of  sparking actions, our highly trained citizen science volunteers will continue to survey reefs and we’ll use our data to engage with communities and advocate, educate and empower genuine actions to protect our reefs and oceans.”   Reef Check Australia is an innovative environmental charity dedicated to protecting reefs and oceans by empowering people and providing opportunities for individuals, communities and corporations to get involved in reef science and conservation.    Visit reefcheckaustralia.org to find out how to get involved, what changes you can make in your everyday actions to make a difference or set up a monthly donation – any amount no matter how small will help to protect our reefs and oceans.
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Getting Busy in Brisbane

August 27, 2019
  August saw some awesome educational events happening in Brisbane, and as ever our amazing team of ambassadors were there to educate and empower.   On the weekend of 16-18 August, over 4000 people attended Brisbane Science Festival at South Bank. Reef Check ambassadors raised awareness of the incredible marine diversity found on Brisbane’s doorstep in Moreton Bay and discussed ways that everybody can help protect the ocean, no matter where they live. We were inspired by the number of young STEM enthusiasts and budding marine biologists we met over the weekend who were excited to tell us about the actions they are already taking to protect the planet!       Meanwhile, the University of Queensland hosted ‘Trash free Tuesday’ over at their St Lucia Campus during sustainability week. The event brought attention to the range of sustainable choices each and every one of us can make in our daily lives to minimise waste. Reef Check Ambassadors chatted with staff and students about how to ditch the plastic habit and how to get involved in community clean up and awareness events in SE QLD. We hope to see everyone again soon at one of our local Coast to Coral events.     Thanks to the Queensland Government Citizen Science Grant for supporting our work in this area.
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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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RCA and International Women's Dive Day!

July 24, 2019
  Some of the RCA dive team headed out to Cook Island to celebrate International Women's Dive Day, which aims "to get more people actively diving and to create more stewards for the ocean".         One of our volunteer Scuba Surveyors, Devin Rowell, gave us the lowdown on the day:- "I feel very lucky to have spent International Women’s Dive Day celebrating with fellow Reef Checkers and female divers on some awesome dives around Cook Island. On the boat ride out to the dive sites we had dolphins swimming alongside us and whales breaching in the distance on their migration. Tweed Sea Sports dropped us on two dive sites containing every diver’s dream - sharks, turtles, underwater whale songs, and some thriving rocky coral reefs. The Reef Check surveyors set up a new site that will be monitored at Cook Island and contribute to the monitoring of Australia’s southerly reefs. At the end of such a great day, I came away feeling empowered from spending it with such inspiring women who not only enjoy spending time in the water but who also volunteer their time to help preserve these amazing places for generations to come!"     Thanks Devin for sharing your experience. Also thanks to Gold Coast City Council for supporting our work in this region and to Tweed Sea Sports for getting us out there! 
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RCA Get Active in the Gold Coast Region!

July 02, 2019
  We've been picking up our Gold Coast educational activities recently with the launch of our Coast to Coral talk series there. Thanks to everyone who came along to our second Gold Coast C2C talk to hear the wonderful Dr. Olaf Meynecke talk passionately about his research on humpback whale migration, human impacts and also how to get involved in his citizen science project.  Thank you to Greenhouse Canteen + Bar Coolangatta for hosting this event.     But our team out in the field aren't to be outdone! Reef Check Australia was delighted to be invited to the Silkwood School’s Youth Ambassadors Conservation Event on South Stradbroke Island on 19th June, along with Gold Coast Seagrass, the Gold Coast Catchment Association and the Panamuna Project. The day saw everyone working alongside the Jacob’s Well Environmental Education Centre to undertake a marine debris audit on the northern side of the island. It was a beautiful day to be outside, and wonderful to see so many young people empowered to take care of our amazing marine environment.     And to round off a busy month, the team recently joined Beach Care and Dune Watch at Tugan Beach to participate in planting native dune species, aiming to rejuvenate surrounding sand dunes.  Gold Coast City Council leave sections of dune areas for the community to join in and get planting, clearing and weeding their local beaches. This important work aids in reducing beach erosion and helps sustain native flora and fauna.  The team at Beach Care regularly conduct beach care and clean up days with all members of the community welcome. Keep an eye out on their Facebook page for upcoming events.  This initiative is proudly supported by Gold Coast City Council, Griffith Centre for Coastal Management and RCA.    Thank you to the City of Gold Coast Council for supporting our work in this region.  
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