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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!

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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Celebrating Citizen Science in Queensland!

January 29, 2019
The Reef Check Australia team headed over to the Queensland Museum last week to join in the celebrations for the launch of the Queensland chapter of the Australian Citizen Science Association, and the new Queensland Government grants program which supports citizen science projects in the state.Reef Check shared a table with the Gold Coast Catchment Association, who were sharing information about a number of citizen science organisations supported by the City of Gold Coast.   With applications to our upcoming Reef Scuba Surveyor and Reef Ambassador training courses having been opened to applicants on the Gold Coast, we're looking to boost our involvement in the region this year with support from the council of the City of Gold Coast.The event was also attended by the Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy, Leeanne Enoch, who was interested to hear about Reef Check's work on reef monitoring throughout the state.     The team were happy to be part of this event celebrating the important role that citizen science will play in our regional future.    
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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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Join Our GBR Team!

January 03, 2019
We're Hiring! Reef Check Australia has a current vacancy for a GBR Project Coordinator. The successful applicant for this position will be based in Townsville and will have a unique blend of science, field experience and community engagement skills to plan, coordinate and lead our Great Barrier Reef projects.       If you think this sounds like you - check out the job description and apply now!  
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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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How To Have An Eco-Friendly Festive Season!

December 04, 2018
If you're trying to figure out how to be a friend to the environment as well as your loved ones this festive season - our Action of the Month for December is made for you! ​We've come uyp with a few ways to make the silly season a little more enviro-friendly - and there's options here that everyone can do. So keep reading for our tops tips if you're dreaming of a green Christmas!   Avoid buying material items that aren’t wanted/needed . Instead, try making a donation or adoption in someone’s name, or getting them an experience to remember, like a scuba dive or snorkel trip if they’re an ocean lover! Scrap the wrap – We use around 8000 tonnes of wrapping paper each year in Australia alone. So ask yourself – do you REALLY need to wrap it? Or can you re-use wrapping paper from last year, or find another material to wrap with? Resist the urge to splurge – When it comes to the dinner table, we all tend to get a bit over-indulgent during the Festive Season. Try to only cater to the number of people you have coming and how much they can eat! And if you do make too much food, use all your leftovers. Source local – Whether it’s gifts or food items, try to source from small local businesses or locally made items. Take back the power – Yes it’s Christmas, but do you really need 2000 fairy lights, air con blazing, TV on and the radio playing festive tunes all the time? Give the environment a gift this year and reduce your carbon footprint!   On behalf of the team at Reef Check Australia - we wish you a very merry and eco-friendly festive season.
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