As North Queensland's largest regional city, Townsville has a unique connection with the reef.  The city hosts the Australian Institute of Marine Science as well as the headquarters for the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.

Although reef tourists aren't has numerous as the Cairns and Whitsunday regions, visitors are drawn to the accessible fringing reefs of Magnetic Island and spectacular outer reefs. 

Regional Updates

Seaside Scavenge Success!

October 31, 2018
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.
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Magnetic Island Activities!

June 22, 2018
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!
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Magnetic Island Clean Up blitz

May 15, 2018
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
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More champions for the Reef

February 20, 2018
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.
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