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!
Survey Says.....That's a Wrap!
October 02, 2019
Reef Check's Gold coast surveys are now complete for the 2018-2019 season! The weather put on a show, allowing our reef health monitoring team to get out and complete the last survey of the Gold Coast survey season. Narrowneck is an artificial reef off the northern end of the Gold Coast. The site is characterised by high cover of macro algae and lots of fish life. The site is sensitive to wave action due to its proximity to the shore and the surf zone, but forms an important part of the reef structures within the Gold Coast area, so is super interesting to monitor as a part of our long term reef health monitoring in the area! Again the team found themslves surrounded by dolphins and whales - what a day to be out and about! On the way out to the site they also came across a balloon just floating out to sea. They managed to get it and dispose of it safely. It was however a reminder that there are alternatives to balloons, and that we can all choose to look after our wildlife and say no to balloons! Thanks to Gold Coast Dive Adventures for getting us to the site. The Gold Coast reef health monitoring program is made possible through support from the City of Gold Coast.Read more
Congratulations To Our New Townsville Ambassadors!
September 24, 2019
The Great Barrier Reef team was happy to welcome some new members to the team last month after a big weekend of Ambassador Training! The training focused on community engagement, sharing reef education and awareness through a variety of methods, planning events and creating projects. Stay tuned for updates from the new reef ambassadors! Thanks to Conservation Volunteers for hosting us so we could run the workshop, for a guest lecture from Craig Turner about Tangaroa Blue and support from Townsville City Council. Credit to Gemma Molinaro for the awesome images! This training is part of Reef Ecologic’s Integrated Coral Reef Citizen Science Program, which is funded by the partnership between the Australian Government’s Reef Trust and the Great Barrier Reef Foundation.Read more
RCA Welcomes Our New GBR Surveyors!
September 15, 2019
GBR Reef Check Scuba Surveyor training took place recently - and everyone involved agreed it was a blast! The team went out with Reef Magic Cruises to the Marine World pontoon on both the Saturday and Sunday - who took great care of our 7 new RCA surveyors. Following 5 dives on Moore Reef in Cairns, our surveyors are now officially qualified to start RCA reef monitoring! With 15-20metres of visibility and generally fantastic conditions, it couldn't have been a better weekend. Everyone especially enjoyed the visits from Wally the Maori Wrasse, who would quite often come and check out what all the fuss was about. There's a bunch of photos of him swimming across our transect lines and just generally being everywhere! Thanks again to Reef Magic Cruises. This SCUBA Surveyor training forms part of Reef Ecologic’s Integrated Coral Reef Citizen Science Program, which is funded by the partnership between the Australian Government’s Reef Trust and the Great Barrier Reef Foundation.Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more