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.


Regional Updates

Australian Marine Debris Initiative - Get the Rundown!

February 18, 2020
  Find out about the recent Australian Marine Debris Initiative (AMDI) workshop from RCA volunteer Cheryl Tan: - As part of the warm-up to the recent Clean Up for the Hatchlings event at La Balsa Park, volunteers and employees from participating non-profit organisations (Reef Check Australia, SurfRider Foundation) came together for the AMDI workshop held at SEA LIFE Sunshine Coast Aquarium organised by the Sunshine Coast Council to learn more about the Australian Marine Debris initiative (AMDI) system.    The aim of this workshop was to enable volunteers and organisations who were running beach clean-up events to also collect data on what they were finding with a consistent methodology so it could be collated into a standardised national database on marine debris.   A couple of interesting takeaway points as well as fun facts we learned from this workshop included: Chocolate wrappers and potato crisp packages were classified as “foil wrappers” under the Metal section and not under “Packaging Items” in the datasheet.   How would you differentiate a lollipop stick from an earbud stick?  The top of a white lollipop stick has a square hole but the top of an earbud stick has little grooves in it!    This is a fun activity for kids to get stuck into, but it is also important when it comes to itemising these 2 items in the appropriate category: lollipop sticks go under “Plastics” and earbud sticks go under “Sanitary” in the datasheet.   Once everything under the “Plastics” section has been itemised, we collate all plastic straws and place them in a pile to be counted.    Cyalume sticks were another interesting item. If found during clean-ups, these were first itemised and thereafter collected and sent for identification. These sticks would then be traced back to various fish and tackle stores. There were many other pointers we received during this hands-on session and is definitely a highly recommended workshop for anyone looking to use the AMDI datasheet within their local community clean up events.   Thanks to the Sunshine Coast Council for supporting our work in this region.
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Get to Know our Volunteers - Shayan Barmand

January 22, 2020
  We know that getting involved in conservation and education efforts can seem daunting. So we thought a "Getting to Know our Volunteers" segment might help inspire peeps while answering some of the FAQ's on what it takes to be active for our reefs and oceans!   We're kicking this segment off with our Reef Ambassador extraordinaire, Shayan Barmand!       Why did you join RCA? I first read about RCA while looking for volunteer groups that protect the Great Barrier Reef and conduct dive surveys looking at the extent of bleaching. I studied climate change and global change science, which emphasised the role of the oceans in supporting the stable functioning of the planet. So when I moved to the Sunshine Coast I started learning a lot more about the GBR and tropical marine ecosystems in general as a critical life support system for marine biodiversity. As major bleaching events were underway, I looked for ways to get involved in its protection. Once I met Jodi Salmond and saw firsthand the awesome work that RCA does on the ground, I knew I wanted to volunteer and help out in whatever way I could.   What has made you stick with us?! I have volunteered and continue to volunteer with a number of other conservation and sustainability-focused non-profits. The reason I dedicate most of my time to RCA is because it stands out in how it manages volunteers, the projects it runs, and most importantly, because it focuses on scientific research as well as community education, and bridging the gap between the two. Its citizen science program is evidence-based, educational, engaging and actions-focused; and its ambassador/surveyor trainings are comprehensive, and the methodology stands up to scientific scrutiny so you know that the data can have a real impact. It allows ordinary citizens to get involved in a task that is much bigger than themselves and goes to the heart of ensuring a safe and healthy planet for future generations.   What does RCA mean to you? RCA is a perfect example of a bottom-up project that accelerates local progress in reconnecting humanity with the biosphere, which is absolutely essential for addressing the combined environmental/social challenges we face and leading human society into the necessary evolution of living in harmony with nature. On a personal level, it allows me to combine what I love (educating and engaging all sectors of society to take action that is evidence-based and solutions-focused), with what I am most passionate about (bringing humanity into harmony with nature by mitigating climate change and further biodiversity loss).      Shayan is one of the volunteer organisers who keep Reef Check Australia's Sunshine Coast Coast to Coral talk series running smoothly! If he has inspired you to find out more, check out our "Get Involved" page to see how you can help!
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Beer and Yoga For The Win!

December 01, 2019
Beer and yoga. An unlikely combination, but one that's gone gangbusters across the world. And now the Sunshine Coast has taken on the challenge with the launch of Beer Yoga at Your Mates Brew House. This beer yoga event was the first of its kind for the Sunshine Coast, and a fundraising initiative under the combined forces of Reef Check Australia and Your Mates Brewing. The session saw punters getting bendy, with beer-drinking incorporated into each classic yoga pose. Think sun salutations and reverse warriors, interspersed with sips of your favourite ale.     Brydie O’Halloran from Younion Yoga, a qualified vinyasa yoga instructor (and seasoned beer drinker) got everyone loose, limber, and having fun — from the total yoga novices just there for the beer, to the well-practiced pro to show us all how it was done. ‘Looking after our natural backyard is incredibly important to us. Growing up on the Sunshine Coast, we’ve enjoyed first-hand the treasures of our ocean, so supporting local legends who are doing amazing things for this environment is a no brainer for us’  said Lachie Finch, Your Mates spokesman.      MASSIVE shout out to Your Mates Brew House for their support of BEER YOGA on the Sunshine Coast! With so much positive feedback, the wheels are in motion for the next one. As it if WASN’T going to be a winner! Make sure to watch this space, so you can get your name down early!
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RCA at the Noosa Parks Association!

July 30, 2019
  Our Community Engagement and SEQ Projects Manager, Jodi Salmond, joined the Noosa Parks Association's Friday Forum recently to share her knowledge of our local SEQ reefs.     Dianne Shun Wah, Friday Forum Organiser from the Noosa Parks Association, gave us her thoughts on the talk: 'Many of us thought we knew about reefs, but I am pleased to say, we now realise that there is so much more to learn. Jodi's talk was full of easy to understand information as well as being fun!! What a great combination. You have clearly learned some incredible ways to explain underwater facts…. the skill of a great communicator. A great morning had by all!"     Thanks to Dianne for the invite and for her kind words, and to Noosa Council for supporting our work in this region
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