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

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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Reef Ambassadors On The Sunshine Coast!

June 20, 2018
Following some pretty intensive training as part of our first Sunshine Coast based Reef Ambassador course, in May we welcomed 17 new Reef Ambassadors/Ocean Action Agents to our team thanks to a grant from June Canavan Foundation.    It's wonderful to see so many super awesome, inspiring people ready to get active in their community!  We would like to thank each and every one of them for their enthusiasm and ideas and for wanting to help protect our reefs and oceans in any way they can.  We are very excited to see their projects come to fruition!    
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Reef Check and Ocean Youth

June 14, 2018
Reef Check Australia were excited to introduce 13 new Ocean Youth Action students to the REEFSearch citizen science program in the last month, thanks to SEALIFE Mooloolaba.    Students used their new REEFSearch skills to locate a variety of invertebrates, impacts and substrates found along the Mooloolaba rockpools to test out their new kits in preparation for visiting some local reefs later in the year.      Why not check out the REEFSearch Program and see how YOU can get involved! 
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Reef 101 on the Sunshine Coast

April 10, 2018
With lots of training opportunities coming up on the Sunshine Coast for reef surveyors and ambassadors, we wanted to make sure we didn't leave out those people who want to learn a bit more about their local reefs and reef ecology but who might not have the time to commit to taking on an active role with RCA. Our half-day Reef 101 workshop provided locals with training in our REEFSearch identification and observation program. The workshop is designed to boost understanding and identification skills for reef ecology - so next time you're out on the reef you'll know exactly what you're looking at!You don't need any science experience - just an interest in protecting our reefs and oceans.  Here's what one of our participants had to say: "The Reef 101 Course was a fantastic learning opportunity for everyone involved! Jodi gave us a great introduction on reef ecology, in which we were able to compare different types of coral, substrates, invertebrates and their habitats. We also learnt how to use our reef ID kits in a practical exercise, to help us with determining signs of healthy vs unhealthy reefs and to identify areas affected by coral bleaching events. The group participating in the course were of different ages and levels of experience. Everyone seemed really enthused and ready to learn with a common interest of a love for our reefs and a focus on wanting to protect them.  Many of us did not realise just how incredible our local reefs are- right on our doorstep! This course has further encouraged us all to begin our journey as citizen scientists, helping to conduct valuable research at our local reef hotspots.   The Reef Check team are doing such amazing things for our oceans and are constantly educating us. By allowing us to become a part of the research process we are extremely lucky! Protect our reefs! So many of our amazing creatures and critters depend on them and it is impossible to imagine a world without them! "   Hayley Doblo (One Free Sea) This workshop was supported by the Sunshine Coast Council. 
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