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

Cleaning Up Magnetic Island!

December 06, 2019
  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.  
Read more

Congratulations To Our New Townsville Ambassadors!

September 24, 2019
  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.  
Read more

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.
Read more

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!
Read more