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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 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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Whats the Buzz with Beeswax Wraps?

November 13, 2018
If you're Queensland based, you may have noticed that there were a few rather wet weeks recently. While the rain was very welcome, it did limit the Reef Check team's outdoor activities a bit - but we found something else to keep us entertained! We took advantage of the bad weather to take a long hard look at our plastic addiction, and looked into a few more ways we can all change some of our daily behaviours to make a more positive impact on the world around us. One simple action we were happy to take on was to ditch the cling wrap and DIY some beeswax wraps instead.     Beeswax wraps are a reusable, washable (in warm soapy water) and sustainable alternative to single use plastic and cling wrap.  And all you need is some cotton (dark colours work best, and you CAN use left over material!), some organic Australian beeswax, coconut oil and access to an oven.  No more plastic covers in our fridges!!   How To Make Your Beeswax Wraps: Turn the oven on, at 180 degrees Celsius Place a few sheets of greaseproof paper onto the metal tray then lay one of your cotton squares on top of this. Evenly sprinkle your beeswax over the cotton square, ensuring that you go to the edges. Put the tray with the wrap covered in beeswax into the oven until the wax is melted.  This will only take a few seconds! Pull the tray out of the oven and place on a heat resistant top.  Drizzle a small amount (10ml) of coconut oil onto the fabric.  Use a brush to make sure the wax and coconut oil is spread evenly throughout.  If any of the material is not covered, spread the wax and oil to the corners, and put back in the oven for a few seconds more.   Peel the wax infused cotton square off the greaseproof paper and let it cool and set on a wire rack or peg it onto a line of string to dry.  This will only take a few minutes Use as you would cling-wrap! If after time they need a little reinvigorating, simply warm soap wash, and pop back in the oven to reset. The best part?  This is a GREAT activity to get kids and students involved with, AND you get to make a difference for the planet! Thanks to the June Canavan Foundation Grant for supporting Reef Check Australia in these initiatives! If you don't think you'd make them yourself but still want to cut down on your clingwrap use then check out the range of beeswax wraps in Biome's online store.
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Seaside Scavenge Success!

October 31, 2018
October 21st saw Reef Check Australia host the second successful Magnetic Island seaside scavenge and clean up event, with a fantastic and productive day had by all.       This innovative event allows volunteers to collect and sort marine debris in exchange for tokens to purchase items from the pop-up pre-loved market on the day. The 2018 scavenge saw 20kg of trash picked up around the island including over 1000 cigarette butts! It's so important for those who do smoke to remember to be careful where they dispose of their cigarette butts. Despite the recent Queensland ban on single use plastic bags, many  bags were also among the items collected this year. Australians burn through billions of light weight plastic bags a year almost none of which are being recycled... inevitably there is a lot that slips through the cracks or, in this case, catches the currents out to sea.  Scavenge volunteers were also treated to some awesome music from local musicians including Lauren Gregory, Andy Lewis, Sylvie Dewitte, fREEK and Ben & Cara as well as the opportunity to learn how to make t-shirt bags with our Reef Check Ambassadors.     Of course, you don't have to join a seaside scavenge to help rid our oceans of marine debris! Take action today to find out more ways to reduce your waste and environmental impact.
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Reef Check At Caloundra Music Festival

October 09, 2018
Reef Check Australia once again teamed up with the Caloundra Music Festival for 2018 as a celebration of the International Year of the Reef!  Despite the windy and wet weather, the crowd took advantage of our popular green screen, transplanting themselves into a variety of underwater wonderlands.  Festival goers were encouraged to pick a pledge (something they DIDN'T already do) to showcase what they were willing to do for the love of our reefs and oceans.     To accentuate the focus on local Sunshine Coast reefs as apart of #IYOR2018 Reef Check Australia also partnered with local artists Yasmin Bridges from Awkward Chat and Ross Holloway to create a truly amazing 3D installation as a part of the festival.  The stunning 'Lets get Visual' installation utilised locally sourced recycled materials and the amazing local marine environment for inspiration. The installation was designed to encourage the community to think about their daily actions and how they impact the world around us.  The banner was made of reused festival mesh from last year‘s event; the seats were milk crates with covers made from a broken dome tent and an old yoga mat, both sourced from the Buderim tip. The jellyfish in the trees were constructed from discarded packaging materials: bubblewrap and mesh from a local art supplies store.   The Reef Check Australia green screen and stall at Caloundra Music Festival is made possible through support from the Caloundra Music Festival, our amazing volunteers, and the Sunshine Coast Councils Environment Levy Partnership Grant program. The 3D art installation is a fantastic collaboration between science and art. Thanks to local artist Awkward Chat and Ross Holloway.  It was made possible through support from the local Sunshine Coast Councils Community Development Minor Grant program  
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A Note To Our Amazing Volunteers

October 02, 2018
  For years Reef Check Australia has been doing amazing things to help our reefs…and we’ve been able to do it all because of you, our fabulous volunteers. Thank you so much! You’ve helped us with reef health surveys, underwater and beach clean-ups, film screenings, music festivals, community talks, trivia nights…the list goes on and on. Our small team of staff do an amazing job coordinating all these activities and with your help have made some incredible things happen.  However, they can’t do it without your support and commitment.  I’d like to ask one small extra thing from you; if you commit to an event please do your best to attend.  The biggest burden on our staff is managing logistics and they struggle if people don’t deliver on their promises.  We understand that things come up – I missed a wedding once because one of my kids who was a toddler at the time dug up a dogs’ bone from our sandpit and ate it – so we get it! We appreciate your efforts, we appreciate as much notice as possible if something does come up and of course we appreciate your smiling faces at our events. Thanks to you all. Richard Coleman, Chair of the Board        
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SEQ Survey Season Launch!

September 04, 2018
The South East Queensland survey season has now officially begun, with an awesome team of Reef Check Australia volunteers recently spending the weekend on gorgeous (and quite wet!) Stradbroke Island refreshing their reef surveyor ID skills in addition to learning new skills with Fish identification.  Despite the cold and sometimes rainy weekend, teams also completed four reef health surveys at Flat and Shag rock off Stradbroke Island.    Teams were treated to many a turtle, plenty of whales breaching, and wobbegongs a plenty!   As ever we need to say a huge thank you to our amazing volunteers for their time and dedication over the weekend- reef monitoring simply cannot be done without them, and we are so lucky to have volunteers willing to donate their whole weekend to monitoring the reef.  Thanks also go to Holzheimer (Point Lookout SCUBA Dive Charters) for getting the team to our sites, and to the Queensland Government's Community Sustainability Action Grants for supporting these vital projects. What a way to kick off the season!
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