Sunshine Coast

The Sunshine Coast is famous for its waves and beaches, but its reefs haven’t gotten nearly the same attention. And we think they should!

These subtropical, near shore patchy rocky reefs are teeming with tropical, sub-tropical and temperate marine life.  These reef communities are well-utilised for fishing, and for some dive tourism. With several large rivers adjacent to these reefs, water quality is also a consideration for the area as the third most populated area in Queensland. The Sunshine Coast is forecast to have the second highest growth rate of any region in Queensland through to at least 2036.

These are currently no marine protected areas along the length of the Sunshine Coast (except for the HMAS Brisbane shipwreck). Similar to other reefs, factors such as increased development and population along the Maroochy River and surrounds, and global climate change also poses threats to this marine ecosystem.

 

Check out our SEQ infographic

Regional Updates

First Surveys For 2019 Done And Dusted!

February 19, 2019
Our SEQ dive teams have kicked off the 2019 season with visits to Moreton Bay and the Sunshine Coast, First up, Reef Check surveyors visited some of our inshore Moreton Bay sites in the second week of January, at St Helena, Mud Island and Green Island. The sites, which RCA aims to visit twice a year, are very close to the river, and urban development along the shore, making it a challenging environment for the coral communities that inhabit the area! With high silt loading and a lot of sediment in the water, it can also make for challenging diving conditions, but our surveyor team did a fantastic job of getting the surveys done at four of our sites! They found plenty of coral battling away, some interesting species of fish, including goatfish, snapper, some wobbegongs and a few sargassum filefish! Thanks to the team at Moreton Bay Research Station for helping us get out to these sites and to the Port of Brisbane Pty Ltd for supporting our surveys. And of course to our amazing surveyors for their hard work!     A Reef Check team also had the pleasure of visiting South East Queensland's most spectacular dive site, Flinders Reef, on the 20th of January. Flinders is home to an incredibly diverse range of marine and coral species, and most renowned for its beautiful large plate and branching corals! Reef Check Australia have been surveying sites at Flinders since 2007, and we have a number of monitoring sites there. Strong currents made it difficult to navigate to the first survey site, but our fantastic team of surveyors managed to complete a survey at our Alden's Cave site and collected an array of fantastic images for updating our surveyor training material! Thanks to Adreno, Scuba Shane and Supercat Charters for putting the trip together, and to the Queensland Government Community Sustainability Action Grant for supporting our activities and surveys in the Moreton Bay area. As ever we couldn't achieve this without our awesome team of surveyors, and special thanks to Gary Cranitch for the incredible images!       Our Sunshine Coast team also recently got out on the water at beautiful Bullcock Beach to do a survey - and didn't miss the opportunity to add in a clean up while they were there as part of the Clean Up for the Hatchlings event. Great work team!         With plans in place to pick up our in water activities in both the Gold Coast and Noosa regions this year, it's going to be a busy time for our Scuba Surveyors!  Don't forget, there's still time to registered your expression of interest for the upcoming Scuba Surveyor training courses in the Brisbane/Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast/Noosa regions. 
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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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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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Sunshine Coast Ambassador Activities!

August 21, 2018
Our Reef Ambassador team on the Sunshine Coast have been keeping busy during the past few weeks with some awesome events and activities.   The amazing Sara and Dee organised a sell out event with their trivia night, with over $1000 raised towards future reef surveys on the Sunshine Coast. They were greeted with many familiar faces and lots of new ones, showing that their hard work is  reaching the greater community with their efforts. Good Bar kindly hosted the event and helped relieve extra stresses! The event was great fun and a huge success, so thanks so much to Sara and Dee for all their hard work - it really paid off. Co-organiser Sara tells us  "We are confident that as new Reef Check Ambassadors we are making our mark on the Sunshine Coast and endeavour to go even bigger with future events". We couldn't agree more Sara! Huge thanks also go to the event supporters and sponsors, including Good Bar, The Dock, The Source Bulk Foods, Greenhouse Cafe, Elixiba, Greenout Cafe & Bar, Solbar and Yoga Vida. Without the support of these local legends, we wouldn’t have been able to present attendees  with some awesome prizes. Sara and Dee also took part in the University of the Sunshine Coast Orientation Day on 16th of July, where they shared the Reef Check stall alongside the environmental student group known as USCeco. Despite a little wind, they had a great time mingling with the new and returning students, including many international students that were very interested in learning about the beautiful local reefs found on the Sunshine Coast. Students in particular had a very keen interest in learning about our reefs and their conservation. Not only were the team able to share their knowledge, they also gained insights into the many initiatives taking place at the University of the Sunshine Coast to tackle single use plastic on campus and the plans to roll out solar panels throughout the site. We're sure this will be the first of many collaborations with the inspiring and motivating USCeco group. Way to go girls - you're setting the benchmark high on community involvement in your region!
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