In 1993, scientists from around the world met to discuss the future of coral reefs. The meeting highlighted how little data was available. There was not enough information to form a picture of the status of the world's reefs.
This prompted marine ecologist, Dr. Gregor Hodgson, to develop a protocol for non-scientists to collect reliable, highly focused data on coral reef health. He founded Reef Check International in 1996 and, in 1997, conducted the first ever global survey of coral reef health.
In 2001, a highly passionate individual and marine scientist, Jos Hill, set up Reef Check Australia, to focus in detail on the health of the vitally-important Great Barrier Reef. More than fifteen years later, we're still going strong and our research is becoming more and more useful over the long term.
Our activities got their start on the northern end of the GBR, expanding to encompass Port Douglas, Cairns, Townsville, the Whitsundays and some prize spots on the outer GBR. In 2007, we kicked-off monitoring activities on the subtropical rocky reefs of South East Queensland. In 2011/2012, we expanded our projects to Central Queensland, setting up new monitoring locations on Heron Island and the Fraser Coast. In 2013 we launched Reef Check in Western Australia, adding the important reefs of the Ningaloo Coast to our list of locations.
We currently have more than 60 priority monitoring locations along the Queensland coast and recently expanded our volunteer reef health monitoring activities to Western Australia’s Ningaloo Coast.