A Whitsundays site, Blue Pearl Bay on Hayman Island, was one of the first sites visited by Reef Check in Australia in 2001.
Some of our monitoring sites were impacted by Cyclone Debbie in March 2017. Cyclone Debbie, which crossed the coast at Airlie Beach as a category 4 storm. Debbie caused severe damage to many shallow reef systems in the Whitsundays. Tourism infrastructure was effected, with damage to resorts, vessels, and boat ramps. Severe flooding for the Burdekin and Fitzroy Rivers from storm system resulted in flood plumes that reached nearshore reef areas. A number of offshore sites had lesser impacts and many tourism operators are now open.
Our amazing industry partners help the survey teams reach existing sites for ongoing reef monitoring, and as such we haven't had the opportunity to return to a few key areas since 2016. We are looking to reach more remote sites in this region. If you would like be involve with this project, please see our Partnership Opportunities.