Reef Check Australia sends us this update:
The South East Queensland survey season has officially started, and a few dedicated Reef Check Australia volunteers helped to kick it off with a trip to the Fraser Coast. It was the second year of surveys for the Woongarra and Hervey Bay sites, and the weather held up beautifully, allowing us all to see what these coastal areas have to offer. After flood events over the past few years, siltation was evident on many of these sites, but the area is brimming with a variety of coral species. It was great to see so much, so close to the shore! The team also conducted an underwater clean up off Big Woody Island, a popular fishing destination. This site was identified from last year’s surveys as being the most highly affected by marine debris.
Our teams of superstar volunteers will be surveying sites from the Sunshine Coast down to the Gold Coast for the rest of the year.
Last month, Reef Check Australia volunteers also took to the water to clean up popular snorkel, dive and fishing spots of Mooloolaba, on the Sunshine Coast as part of an annual “Team up to Clean Up” event held with Surfrider Foundation Sunshine Coast. Whilst the dive team scoured the ocean floors for items of debris, land-based teams tackled other popular tourist areas along the Mooloolaba/Kawana coastline. The results were interesting. Land based teams in Mooloolaba found half the amount of land based rubbish as last year, however teams searching the popular recreational site at Kawana site found 34kg of various rubbish items, including thongs, diapers and dog poop in bags. Yuck! The underwater crew found relatively low amounts of fishing debris, in addition to a very large, heavy length of metal ‘rope’ which has been left for professional recovery due to its weight. It was a great turn out, with over 50 volunteers lending a hand across the sites. Working with our amazing partners, our volunteers have removed more than 500kg of rubbish from our beaches and oceans in 2013. Our teams feel great about what we have accomplished, but we all look forward to a day when clean-ups are no longer needed!
Visit www.reefcheckaustralia.org for more information and how you can get involved.