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

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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World Environment Day Festival 2019

June 11, 2019
  The always awesome World Environment Day (WED) festival was held in Rotary Park, Cotton Tree on the Sunshine Coast 2nd June 2019. Celebrated in over 100 countries to build awareness and action for the protection of our environment, WED on the Sunshine Coast attracted some thousands of people despite forecasted showers. Despite the bursts of heavy rain and on-and-off showers, our Reef Ambassadors and Surveyors spent the day engaging with members of the public, sharing their passion for reef conservation, and discussing ways individuals can make small behaviour changes to help protect the oceans.   Many visitors to our stall were shocked to see a photo of a pristine coral reef and learn that the image was taken at local Mudjimba Island. We also had a number of divers approach us and share their keenness to get involved with Reef Check's citizen science.  The team also decided to change it up this year by offering mugs to patrons as an alternative to the usual single use coffee cups. These quirky cups, inscribed "you've just been mugged" with the reef check logo, were at hit! Our dedicated team handed them out at each coffee stall to patrons who seemed relieved to have a guilt free alternative (and enjoyed the pun as well). It was wonderful to witness many people wandering around the festival toting our mugs and keep cups, with few opting for the single use alternative. We are taking this as a great success, so get ready to be 'mugged' by us at the next WED!   Overall, a great day was had by all and we were stoked to be involved in World Environment Day. Hats off to the organisers, see you next year!
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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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