On the weekend of 23 & 24th November the crew from Reef Check Australia headed to Magnetic Island for multiple beach and underwater clean ups in partnership with Tangaroa Blue as part of their ReefClean project. Calm conditions greeted the underwater team as seven divers and three snorkellers took to the water to see what marine debris they could find.
The team targeted two locations, Alma Bay and Nelly Bay. They collected 13.5kgs of marine debris, much of it being small plastic pieces, clear plastic film, plastic and glass bottles and cigarette butts. Underwater, thankfully, the team did not collect much at either location. At Nelly Bay the only debris found was discarded and abandoned fishing line that the team cut off the reef.
The ReefClean project is funded by the Australian Government’s Reef Trust and delivered by Tangaroa Blue Foundation and a number of partner organisations including Reef Check Australia.
The Great Barrier Reef team was happy to welcome some new members to the team last month after a big weekend of Ambassador Training! The training focused on community engagement, sharing reef education and awareness through a variety of methods, planning events and creating projects. Stay tuned for updates from the new reef ambassadors!
Thanks to Conservation Volunteers for hosting us so we could run the workshop, for a guest lecture from Craig Turner about Tangaroa Blue and support from Townsville City Council. Credit to Gemma Molinaro for the awesome images!
This training is part of Reef Ecologic’s Integrated Coral Reef Citizen Science Program, which is funded by the partnership between the Australian Government’s Reef Trust and the Great Barrier Reef Foundation.
October 21st saw Reef Check Australia host the second successful Magnetic Island seaside scavenge and clean up event, with a fantastic and productive day had by all.
This innovative event allows volunteers to collect and sort marine debris in exchange for tokens to purchase items from the pop-up pre-loved market on the day.
The 2018 scavenge saw 20kg of trash picked up around the island including over 1000 cigarette butts! It's so important for those who do smoke to remember to be careful where they dispose of their cigarette butts.
Despite the recent Queensland ban on single use plastic bags, many bags were also among the items collected this year. Australians burn through billions of light weight plastic bags a year almost none of which are being recycled... inevitably there is a lot that slips through the cracks or, in this case, catches the currents out to sea.
Scavenge volunteers were also treated to some awesome music from local musicians including Lauren Gregory, Andy Lewis, Sylvie Dewitte, fREEK and Ben & Cara as well as the opportunity to learn how to make t-shirt bags with our Reef Check Ambassadors.
Of course, you don't have to join a seaside scavenge to help rid our oceans of marine debris! Take action today to find out more ways to reduce your waste and environmental impact.
The Great Barrier reef survey teams have been busy this month completing Magnetic Island surveys and adding more sites to the Magnetic Island snorkel trails.
Meanwhile, working together with Reef Ecologic, Reef Checkers celebrated World Ocean Day on Magnetic Island by assisting with a beach clean-up, taking conservation pledges and taking part in island outreach to support the awesome plastic-free initiative The Last Straw on the Great Barrier Reef!
Reef Check Ambassadors are undertaking this work in conjunction with the Last Straw on the GBR to help local cafe's and bars reduce their plastic straw usage in Townsville and on Magnetic Island. We’ll keep you updated on this important project
Reef Checkers were also present at Ecofiesta in Queens Garden, Townsville to help encourage sustainable behaviours and teach people how to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle. Lots of visitors on the day made pledges to reduce their impact, such as reducing single-use plastics.
Our volunteers are doing some incredible work in this region and we can’t wait to share more updates with you!
We teamed up with Tangaroa Blue Foundation and Reef Ecologic to host a series of cleanups on five beaches on Magnetic Island. Together, we cleaned Nelly, Rocky, Geoffrey, Alma & Horseshoe Bays.
More than 50 community members joined in to sort and report on clean up data and made environmental pledges to reduce waste. Was great to see peoples enthusiasm and dedication to reduce plastic pollution on Magnetic island beaches and care for the amazing natural environment!
Special thanks to representatives of Fantasea Cruising Magnetic, Pleasure Divers Magnetic Island, Aquascene Charters & Reef HQ Great Barrier Reef Aquarium for getting involved too!
This event was supported with funding from NQ Dry Tropics through the Australian Government National Landcare Programme
We recently trained a new crew of enthusiastic Reef Ambassadors in Townsville. Ambassadors will now be out in the community working with partners on a range of exciting local projects for the Reef. One of the amazing group of volunteers who recently undertook the Reef Ambassador training program in Townsville was 15 year old Kailash Cook - our youngest ambassador to date.
We were thrilled that the Townsville Bulletin decided to run a full page write up on Kailash and his participation in the program. Kailash is an incredible advocate and his passion for raising awareness and educating others on how they can help protect our reefs is truly inspiring to everyone.Ambassadors have already been busy running ocean conservation pledges at James Cook University, teaming up with Reef Ecologic at the Ocean Film Festival and whipping up a series of hand-sewn reusable bags! Watch this space! Thanks to Townsville City Council and Clarke's One For Tomorrow program for supporting the Townsville Reef Ambassadors program.
We were thrilled to team up with the crew at Seaside Scavenge to run the first ever events for North Queensland and launch an official local Scavenge Chapter!
Putting a new spin on coastal clean-ups, these events fuse music, art, to trade clean up trash for second-hand treasures!
In the first event on Magnetic Island, many were surprised to find many small pieces of debris even in areas that looked relatively clean. We had over 100 people stop more than 200kg of debris from reaching our oceans. Wanna encourage some of your own introspection about your footprint? Check out ABC's War on Waste.
An incredible number of prizes were donated by local businesses to get everyone Scavenging up a storm. Pre-loved clothes, books, toys and more that were donated by the local community.
A massive thanks to everyone involved! Without the dedication on the day from our incredible crew of volunteers sorting and recording data for Tangaroa Blue’s Australian Marine Debris Database and local support from Magnetic Island Nature Care Association, this event would not have been possible.
This event was made possible with support from NQ Dry Tropics through the National Landcare Programme, Townsville City Council and a range of awesome local businesses,