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

Switch Off to Switch Off Success

April 05, 2019
Every year hundreds of millions of people around the world in more than 7,000 cities in over 180 countries take part in Earth Hour. This year, the team at Reef Check Australia decided to show our support for Earth hour by inviting our supporters to switch off their minds as well, for a Yoga by candlelight event.     The beautiful space for our Brisbane event was generously donated by The Academy of Grounding and our wonderful Yogi Grace donated her time taking everyone through a relaxing Yin practice.  Just the thing to truly switch off!       We'd also like to give massive thanks to our Sunshine Coast yoga instructor, Breeana, and also the Perigian Beach Community Centre for generously donating their time, space and energy to this wonderful and relaxing event!     Here's the lowdown from one of our Sunshine Coast attendees, Alexandra Arri:   "Switch off to switch off was such a great way to show solidarity in highlighting the importance of Earth Hour. Breeanas kind and humble nature only added to the calmness of the flickering candle lights as she lead us through an hour of gentle yoga poses. I would definitely recommend future events organised by Reef Check Australia."    Big thanks to our amazing Ambassadors who helped to organise these events.Also, thanks to the June Canavan Grant for supporting the Sunshine Coast event and to the Queensland Government Community Sustainability Action Grant for supporting the Brisbane event!   
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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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