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Welcome back

Thanks everyone for your continued effort to look after reefs. In the last 2 weeks, CoralWatch surveys have been conducted in Indonesia, India, Honduras, Hong Kong, Dominica, Pakistan, Australia, Malaysia and Thailand. Our newsletter is send to members in 137 countries. Please continue to share your reef stories and photos on CoralWatch facebook, twitter and instagram. We love to hear from you.

Save Reefs - Global Action for Climate Change

Last month in Australia, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority published their five yearly ‘Outlook Report’ that examines the Region’s health, pressures, and likely future. Sadly, the outlook for the GBR has deteriorated from poor to very poor.  The main threats are associated with coastal development, land-based run-off, and direct human use (such as illegal fishing). However the greatest threat to our reefs worldwide is CLIMATE CHANGE.

We can all do our part and save reefs from home, why not add your voice to the broader community’s and tell our leaders to make a change to stop the impact of climate change. Last month, 7.6 million people in 180 countries participated in the strike for climate action. The biggest climate mobilisation in history! This week the extinction rebellion started with protests worldwide to declare a Climate and Ecological Emergency to all governments of the world. The time to act is now, check out what is happening in your area.

Global temperatures between 2015-2019 are the hottest on record and carbon emissions have risen by 20% in this same period. Coral reefs are the most vulnerable habitat to the effects of climate change. The warming of oceans is increasing the number and severity of coral bleaching events, all predicted by NOAA Coral Reef Watch Program. Areas that are currently on high bleaching alert levels are Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Trinidad and Tobago, Offshore Venezuela, Aruba, Curacao and Bonaire and Nicaragua. There is so much you can do, get active and get involved with CoralWatch.  Apply for a free Coral Health Chart or email us for materials and upload your data.

At times of bleaching, corals are under extreme stress. You can improve the chance of coral survival by reducing the secondary stressors. Examples are not touching, standing or anchoring on the reef; keeping chemicals such as sunscreens with oxybenzone or octinoxate out of the water; and suspending fishing for herbivorous fish. While these actions are good, the ultimate thing we need to do is combat climate change.

ReefBlitz QLD - Collect Data and Learn!

ReefBlitz is an annual event that lets you contribute to a snapshot of catchment and reef health, and get involved in practical actions to help look after Queensland's reefs. Join in a range of events from coast to coral from 1-31 October, 2019!

CoralWatch will be participating in the Biodiversity Roadshow at Wellington Point and offers another Moreton Bay cruise on board the ‘MV Inspiration’ to learn about the importance of the Bay. Drop cameras will show you various types of corals. This event is supported by Moreton Bay Environmental Education Centre and Port of Brisbane. Tickets are available from our online shop.

Win a price! The biggest data contributor in QLD over the month of October will be awarded. Send us your data and some photos, will feature you or your organisation in our next newsletter!

Community Outreach - National Science Week

Our National Science Week events were a great success. Thanks to the support of Australian Government, CoralWatch was able to participate in 14 events at 8 locations, reaching out to >5900 people. New Virtual Reality provided a real-life reef experience at Brisbane Street Science festival, Bundaberg's Oceanfest, Palm Island School and Indigenous Knowledge Centre, Maryborough STEM event and various other places. CoralWatch VR content is now available for downloading to use in class and other settings with own headsets. Feel free to contact us if you need further instructions.

Ambassadors in Action

Together with Palm Island Sustainability Hub (Valentine and Suzanne) we organised a community outreach event at the Bwgcolman Indigenous Knowledge Centre. The next day we offered workshops to 80 students from prep to year 6 at St. Michael's school. In April 2020, we plan to return and offer a school holiday programme.

Natalie, Maria and Dave offered virtual reality experiences, reef and monitoring games and the latest info about the GBR at the stall at Bundaberg Oceanfest. The festival celebrates the beautiful Southern GBR with many corals accessible from shore. The next day, 30 people participated in reef monitoring at Barolin Rocks.

Act to Protect Workshops

CoralWatch presented during the Marine Teachers Conference in Cairns and offered an extra 'Act to Protect' teacher PD-day. Express your interest here, if you like to participate in any of our future teacher PD workshops. An exiting part of the conference was the field day, visiting Moore and Flynn Reef with ReefMagic cruises where we collected data for CoralWatch and GBRMPA Eye on the Reef program.
Our 'Act to Protect' outreach events are funded by the partnership between the Australian Government’s Reef Trust and the Great Barrier Reef Foundation.

Events and latest media links

Upcoming CoralWatch Events

Are you organising a CoralWatch event, let us know and we will add it to our newsletter and social media channels to promote it.

Latest CoralWatch media links

  • September 2019, Spend the day as Marine Scientists, Newsmail
  • 9 August, CoralWatch explains how citizen scientists can help save world's reefs, Redlands Coast
  • August, CoralWatch data entry app, ZDNet
  • 25 July, Palaszczuk Government announces $580,000 for citizen science projects, My Sunshine Coast

Latest CoralWatch papers & reports

  • Chaudhury, N., Gujrati, A., Murthy T. and Satyanarayana, C. Spectral Discrimination of Live and Bleached Corals: A Case Study on Turbinaria peltata (Esper, 1794) Using Field Spectroscopy Aquatic Invertebrates
  • Schoepf, V., Carrion, S., Pfeifer, S., Naugle, M., Dugal, L., Bruyn, J. and McCulloch, M. Stress-resistant corals may not acclimatize to ocean warming but maintain heat tolerance under cooler temperatures Nature Communications
  • Rindengan, A., Pinontoan, B., Latumakulita, L., Mongi, C., Montolalu, C. and Langi, Y. Coral reef’s healthy level measurement system design using digital image processing on Bunaken National Sea Park IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering
  • Pootakham, W., Mhuantong, W., Yoocha, T., Putchim, L., Jomchai, N., Sonthirod, C., Naktang, C. and Kongkachana, W. Heat‐induced shift in coral microbiome reveals several members of the Rhodobacteraceae family as indicator species for thermal stress in Porites lutea Microbiology Open
  • Beckena, S., Connollyb, R., Chena, J. and Stanticc, B. A hybrid is born: Integrating collective sensing, citizen science and professional monitoring of the environment Ecological Informatics
  • Ghazilou, A., Koochaknejad, E., Ershadifar, H., Negarestan, H., Kor, K. and Baskaleh, G. Infestation biology of Phallusia nigra (Tunicata, Phlebobranchia) on hard corals in a subtropical bay Marine Ecology progress Series

Have you published a paper or written a report and used CoralWatch data or our Coral Health Chart, we would love to know about it. Next time your paper/report can be in the newsletter and posted on the website and our social media.