Media

CoralWatch in the news
 

2019

September 2019
NewsMail

"BRIDGING the gap between tourism and conservation for everyone, Master Reef Guide Natalie Lobartolo is excited to announce the launch of the Marine Biologist For A Day program, just in time for the school holidays. She said the initiative would enable everyday people to become involved in simple science, but science that can be used in marine park management and reef health.

She said there was two citizen science programs involved, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority Eye on the Reef program and UQ's Coral Watch program and you don't have to be a scientist or degree to participate.

Ms Lobartolo said these programs were an intricate part particularly when managing issues like rezoning or responding to threats.
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August 2019
ZDNet

" This app makes entering, uploading, viewing, editing and comparing your Coral Health Chart data on the CoralWatch global database easy and convenient.

CoralWatch and the Coral Health Chart is a citizen science project based at the Univeristy of Queensland, Australia. CoralWatch integrates global monitoring of coral bleaching with education about marine sciece and coral reef conservation.
In 2002, CoralWatch developed and validated the Coral Health Chart. This chart standardizes changes in coral colour and provides a simple way that volunteers can quantify bleaching and monitor coral health without formal training.
The Coral Health Chart is used by dive centres, scientists, school groups, and tourists, and empowers people to monitor their own local reefs.
Anyone can contribute to our global database!
You don't need training, just download the CoralWatch Info App or Do It Yourself Kit from our website, request a Coral Health Chart, and you are redy to go!
Use this app to enter your CoralWatch Coral Health Chart survey results.
Review and compare your data to previous surveys.
Instantly see your data represented graphically.
Store your survey data and upload at a later time.
Contribute to the CoralWatch global database and improve the future of our reefs!
August 2019
Wynnum Herald

"NOT-FOR-PROFIT citizen science group CoralWatch will operate two tours of Moreton Bay this weekend to mark National Science Week. The University of Queensland program will be on the water to showcase the current state of local reefs with tips on how the community can help protect them.

Participation is limited to 40 people (children must be aged 5-plus) on each tour and tickets are just $7.50.

Setting out on board the MV Inspiration, Coral- Watch will showcase More- ton Bay’s coral reefs using drop cameras, underwater footage and coral health charts.

The program is designed to showcase what coral shapes and colours exist, how humans affect the reef, and what actions they can take to save them. CoralWatch manager Diana Kleine said many people were aware of coral bleaching, but not the magnitude of the problem.

“National Science Week is the perfect opportunity to improve awareness of the challenges the reef is facing and empower Queens- landers to help save the reef by living more sustainably,” she said. The tours will be held on August 17, at 8.30am and 11am, departing William Gunn Jetty, Manly. Bookings are essential.

August 2019
Redlands Courier Mail
"A volunteer science program has mapped more than 2000 reefs around the world. Now, to mark National Science Week, the CoralWatch boat will be on Moreton Bay.

Setting out on board the MV Inspiration, CoralWatch will showcase Moreton Bay’s coral reefs using drop cameras, underwater footage and coral health charts.

The program is designed to showcase what coral shapes and colours exist, how humans affect the reef, and what actions they can take to save them. CoralWatch manager Diana Kleine said many people were aware of coral bleaching, but not the magnitude of the problem. Read more
July 2019
My Sunshine Coast
"Citizen science projects across the state will benefit from a $580, 000 investment from the Palaszczuk Government to encourage Queenslanders to get engaged in science.


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16th of May 2019
The Paul M. Angell Family Foundation is the second funding partner for Allen Coral Atlas, by providing a grant to the National Geographic Society and The Wildlife Conservation Society. With this new grant, we are even closer to our goal of mapping all coral reefs by 2020. 
The grants will enable field engagement projects to expand the Atlas. As more areas are added to the Atlas, the ultimate impact on reefs is to scale the mapping and monitoring work behind this global source of coral information.
“Conservation NGOs currently track hundreds of coastal monitoring sites around the world, using field methods that could be adapted to inform the Allen Coral Atlas. WCS, in partnership with NGS, proposes to leverage our field programs in key countries to build the capacity of global conservation organizations to contribute to the Atlas and better monitor and manage their own resources.”
The Allen Coral Atlas starts with satellite photos whose features are translated into reef features like coral/algae, rock, and sand. However, the map images must be verified by work in the field: traveling to reefs and manually observing and noting their features. With the new funding from PMAFF, critical verification will continue so that the Atlas can become a reliable monitoring tool for coral conservation.


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18th of April 2019
Coral Reefs – Immerse, Learn and Act
University of Queensland
Reefs are in trouble worldwide, and the Great Barrier Reef has lost half of its coral cover since 1985. People are often unaware of both the magnitude of this problem and what they can do to help save reefs from afar. CoralWatch, a global citizen science program based at The University of Queensland, will visit several regional Queensland coastal communities, presenting the latest reef science, creating reef awareness and providing suggestions on how they can help through presentations, displays, outdoor field science activities, and workshops. Virtual reality will provide a realistic reef experience, connecting participants with the reef sometimes hundreds of kilometres away.
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March 2019
Great Barrier Reef Foundation Online
"Local community groups along the Great Barrier Reef have been awarded $1.4 million across twenty-five Reef protection projects that contribute to improving Reef health.

Great Barrier Reef Foundation Managing Director Anna Marsden said every Australian has a role to play in preserving this icon and these grants are going to locals who know first-hand the practical steps needed to protect the Reef.

“These projects will empower people to be part of the solution and will see local on-ground action in Reef regions ranging from turtle and Reef health monitoring to reducing litter entering the Reef catchments in Townsville, Mackay, Gladstone and Bundaberg,” Ms Marsden said.

“The task of saving the Reef can appear enormous, but the cumulative difference that will come out of these local action projects will have real impact on the Great Barrier Reef.

“Australians from all walks of life have been rising to the challenge as the Reef has been under more pressure than ever before and these grants allow them to go further in their efforts to protect the Reef.

“The twenty-five grants are for successful applicants from two Community Reef Protection grant rounds (Local Action through the Local Marine Advisory Committees and Citizen Science).

“The Local Marine Advisory Committees are volunteers who are facilitated by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and have been working for over 20 years to address regional threats, they have tapped into their local knowledge and community networks to put forward on-ground local action projects that will have real results in their area.

“One project with a local Innisfail school, will allow school children to re-vegetate a waterway by removing weeds and replanting with native vegetation, resulting in cleaner water reaching the Reef.

“Citizen scientists have a legacy on the Reef of giving up their own time to collect data that can be used by a range of organisations, including the Marine Park Authority, to contribute up to date information on the health of the Reef. These projects will ensure that they are supported and can expand on their current roles.

“This includes projects such as monitoring nesting marine turtles along the Capricorn and Curtis coast as well as Wreck Rock Beach, piloting a place-based citizen science reporting system in Port Douglas, developing a cloud-based image platform and addressing a significant knowledge gap in the condition and health of seagrass and saltmarsh in key locations along the coast.”

The Community Reef Protection projects are funded by the partnership between the Australian Government’s Reef Trust and the Great Barrier Reef Foundation.

The Reef Trust Partnership includes $10 million for Community Reef Protection over six years.

Today’s announcement builds on previous work of the Reef Trust Partnership including over $19 million worth of water quality improvement grants and an $1.5m investment in the Traditional Owner Reef protection grant round (to be announced shortly). The GBRF has also announced a health check on the remote far northern reefs delivered by the Australian Institute of Marine Science in partnership with JCU (January 2019), and the largest single investment in Traditional Owner Reef Protection (announced in January 2019). This is in addition to the release of 10 strategic plans under the Partnership, including the Investment Strategy which provides an enduring road map for Reef protection.

A full list of the successful applicants and a brief description of their projects is available HERE. Media contact: GBRF Sarah Henderson +61 429 890 087

View full list of the successful applicants and a brief description of their projects here

CoralWatch, Queensland Brain Institute, The University of Queensland Educating communities to help ACT and PROTECT our GBR Location: Palm Islands and Keppel Islands Supported by: Boyne Island Environment Education Centre, North Keppel Environment Education Centre, Jina Gunduy Sustainability Hub, Palm Island and Marine Teachers Association Queensland

CoralWatch will partner with Environmental Education Centres to develop reef citizen science materials tailored to the coastal areas of Palm Island, North Keppel Island, Gladstone and Heron Island. This will include curriculum linked lesson plans, coral identification sheets, virtual reef posters and display material for EEC’s and other suitable venues, as well as field-based data collection activities.
26th February 2019
Aiglon College Online
"Seventeen students and three staff travelled to Koh Chang, Thailand’s largest island, located in the eastern province of Trat. Whilst there the students engaged in 3 main activities: education; terrestrial and aquatic debris removal; and conservation.

In total 11 passed the PADI Open Water course and learned to dive, 3 students passed the PADI Advanced Open Water diver course and 6 passed the PADI Wreck Speciality course. It was a very intensive period and students did very well to master the new skills required.

In the middle of the week students completed two environmental clean-up projects. The first of these was with the Koh Chang Trash Hero movement. This global initiative aims to spread awareness about pollution by cleaning the local environment. The Aiglon team were part of the organisation that helped clean the Klong Kloi beach area, removing around 25 large bags of rubbish. This was followed by a Dive Against Debris. Students took to the water just outside the Koh Rang national marine park and removed rubbish that was building up on the local reefs.

The third element of the trip saw students involved in the PADI Coralwatch program. During these dives the students learned how to survey the health of the coral reef and collected data. On the surface this data was collated and sent to the University of Queensland, Australia, for their ongoing reef monitoring projects.

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March 2019
CBS Evening news

"Great Barrier Reef — There's a good reason marine scientist Chris Roelfsema studies coral reefs.

"Twenty five percent of all marine species depends on coral reef," he said.

The reefs may be near the bottom of the ocean food chain. But now, to study what's happening down there, scientists are going up. They're using the hundreds of shoe-box sized, mini-satellites already in orbit to try to save the world's coral reefs.

The satellites circle over the North and South Poles as the Earth spins underneath, and send back pictures of every square inch of the planet, every day. That includes pictures of the 150,000 or so coral reefs.

It's a game-changer. Until now, scientists have had to visit individual reefs to monitor their health -- or lack of it.

CBS News was there as a group headed to Australia's Great Barrier Reef. As research, it's expensive, time-consuming and incomplete.

Veterans on a new mission to save the coral reef damaged by hurricanes

"Just the fact that there's so much reef out there, even when we're responding to something like a bleaching event, there's only a certain number of scientists," said researcher Emma Kennedy.

Kennedy has been studying two recent bleachings here, where warming waters kill the coral leaving a white skeleton behind.

"The satellite products are really going to be able to help us, because we're going to be able to look at much bigger areas of reef from space," Kennedy said.

That's where the reef-mapping satellites come in. Lauren Kickham runs the project launched by the late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, which brings the satellite people and the marine biologists together.

The satellite pictures are processed by software Roelfsema is developing to determine what is coral, what is sand, what's healthy and what's dying. An online atlas will provide a daily, world-wide, coral health report.

"If we didn't have what we have now, it would take trillions of dollars and a hundred years to map the world, and we just don't have that time," Kickham said.

It is a race against time. Another coral bleaching die-off could come as soon as this year.


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July 2018
CoralWatch Dive Log Australasia
 

2018

September 2018
UQ Online
"To celebrate Research Week 2018, UQ is proud to share how UQ research is creating change, right across the world, every day. Find out how our researchers are collaborating with research partners both in Australia and abroad in the race to save the Great Barrier Reef.The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef, one of the seven natural wonders of the world, and was listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO (The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) in 1981.

It is Australia’s greatest natural wonder and one of the country’s biggest tourist attractions, worth $6.4 billion each year to our economy, but its future and very existence is under threat.

In 1998, the first global bleaching event was recorded and 16 per cent of the world’s coral was lost.

Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg from UQ's Global Change Institute wrote at the time about the impacts of climate change, specifically ocean acidification and rising ocean temperatures, and their contribution to the bleaching event.

Since then, around 40 per cent of the world’s coral reefs have been lost to bleaching and as a result of natural disasters.

“Mass coral bleaching events across three years have driven the loss of half the Great Barrier Reef's shallow water corals. This is on top of the loss of half the corals since the early 1980s, illustrating the perilous status of coral reefs globally," Professor Hoegh-Guldberg says....
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2nd August 2018
UQ News
"An army of volunteer divers and researchers have won an environmental award for a project mapping the health of a reef off the South-East Queensland coast.

The University of Queensland Underwater Club, UniDive, was awarded the 2018 Healthy Land and Water’s Environmental Guardians Award.

The project involved more than 560 dives to train citizen scientists and collect, map and publish information on Flinders Reef, north of Moreton Island.

Volunteer project organiser, Dr Chris Roelfsema from UQ’s School of Environmental and Earth Sciences, was delighted with the award, a result of more than 10,000 volunteer hours.

“I’m incredibly proud of all of the UniDive volunteers, as well as the high-quality data we’ve collected,” he said.“We found that the reef has astonishing coral cover, with a variety of fish and invertebrates, and low impacts compared to other reefs in South-East Queensland.

“It was no mean feat, but 50 UniDive volunteers conquered sea and weather, and used their own time, boats, equipment and expertise to conduct 400 dives to assess the reef’s condition and create its first detailed map.”

Volunteer UQ marine researchers helped bolster the army by training the UniDive volunteers to identify fish, invertebrates, coral and algae, and to use underwater surveying and mapping techniques.

All survey divers were trained to be internationally-recognised Reef Check and CoralWatch divers and mapping methods were developed with UQ’s Remote Sensing Research Centre....
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August 2018
Longreach, Mt Isa, Cloncurry & Winton
"Coral reef science, a Netflix documentary, and virtual reality experiences will bring Queensland’s coast inland.

Reefs are in trouble worldwide, and the Great Barrier Reef has lost half of its coral cover since 1985. People living away from the coast are often unaware of both the magnitude of this problem and what they can do to help save reefs from afar.

CoralWatch, a global citizen science program based at The University of Queensland, will engage with communities between Mt Isa and Longreach presenting the latest reef science, creating reef awareness and provide suggestions on how they can help through presentations, displays and screenings of the Netflix documentary Chasing Coral, from the makers of the Emmy Award-winning Chasing Ice. Virtual reality will provide a realistic reef experience, connecting participants with the reef.
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July 2018
CoralWatch Dive Log Australasia
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25th June, 2018
Camden Haven Courier, NSW
"Students from Camden Haven High School were given a once-in-lifetime opportunity to get up close with marine life during a recent trip to Lady Elliot Island.

A spokesperson from the school said students gathered data for Coral Watch and Marine Debris surveys.

They submitted their findings to the Australian Marine Debris Initiative and The University of Queensland. The information will help scientists identify trends in coral health and assess the impact of marine debris.

The spokesperson said most of the excursion was spent underwater, exploring the pristine coral reef and admiring the huge variety of wildlife.

“They saw green and hawksbill turtles, black and white tip reef sharks, eagle rays, dolphins and thousands of different types of tropical fish,” she said.

The excursion coincided with World Oceans Day, so students were able to attend special lectures and events....
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14th June, 2018
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1st June, 2018
UQ News
"The University of Queensland has a range of experts available to talk to media in relation to World Environment Day on 5 June and World Oceans Day on 8 June.

Professor Justin Marshall is a zoologist at the Queensland Brain Institute whose primary field of research is vision in marine animals, but his frequent visits have given him ample opportunity to observe the quality of various parts of the Great Barrier Reef.

Dr Sophie Dove and her team of coral biologists have been exploring factors such as temperature, carbon dioxide, acidification, seasonal changes and competitors to determine which organisms will be the winners in the future on the Great Barrier Reef and will they be able to sustain the large biomass of primary and secondary consumers that currently exist on reefs...."
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29th May, 2018
Gladstone Observer plus 19 other newspapers
"AWARD-WINNING zoologist Professor Justin Marshall has just returned from a Coral Watch expedition to Heron Island.

He's been to the island, by his reckoning, more than 50 times.But this sort of trip he's only done twice. It was a training trip, to prepare people to become Coral Watch ambassadors.

Coral Watch was founded by Prof Marshall 16 years ago and has become a global phenomenon. It's a citizen science project, and the concept is simple but clever.

The colour of coral is a good indication of its health.

Citizen scientists are given a simple plastic colour card - a bit like the paint swatches you can get from Bunnings, Prof Marshall says.

They are asked to select which colour on the card most closely matches the coral. The information is recorded and provided to scientists, enabling them to raise the alarm on emerging situations and monitor threats.

Those who train to become Coral Watch ambassadors will educate other people about the condition of coral reefs like the Great Barrier Reef....
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15th April, 2018
Japan Times
"Margaret Mars Brisbin is a Ph.D. candidate in marine science at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST), which probably brings to mind frolicking dolphins and giant schools of tropical fish. But Brisbin’s focus is much, much smaller: marine microeukaryotes, the photosynthetic organisms that make coral possible.

In a healthy reef, these microscopic symbionts live inside hard corals, providing the energy that powers their growth. In an unhealthy reef, stressed corals expel their tiny residents, resulting in bleaching and, eventually, death.

In 2015, Brisbin came to Okinawa to start work on her Ph.D., attracted by the research possibilities offered by the nearby reefs and long warm-water diving season.

“My very first weekend on island, I went diving at a local dive site, Maeda Point or Blue Cave, but was relatively shocked at what I saw,” she says. “The divers and snorkelers showed absolutely no concern for the flora and fauna of the reef. Everywhere I looked, people were stepping on the reef and kicking and crushing fragile coral colonies.”

The United Nations Environment Programme recommends a dive site be limited to 6,000 visitors per year to remain pristine, but based on her observations, Brisbin estimates well over 1,000 people visit Maeda Point per day during the peak season...."
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April, 2018
Start Some Good
"Flinders Reef Marine Park is located off the tip of Moreton Island, just outside the entrance to Moreton Bay and has global significance as a breeding and feeding ground for protected and threatened marine life. It is a subtropical reef, meaning it has a particular combination of both warm water species you would see further north, and cooler water species that you won't encounter on the Great Barrier Reef. It's surprisingly close to Brisbane and right next to a major shipping lane - yet supports a remarkable abundance of wildlife.

Moreton Bay Marine Park is over 3400 square kilometers and encompasses many different marine habitats. Management of this park also has to take into account a broad range of human activites, such as fishing, whale watching, diving, recreational boating, and commercial shipping.

Flinders Reef is one of many "green zones" within the park, where all fishing activities are banned to protect the local flora and fauna. Click on the map below to see the complex zoning of this amazing marine park..."
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2nd February, 2018
Good Weekend Magazine
"The morning school run proceeds, at first glance, like any number of affluent, socially progressive, private-school runs the world over. There are lithe yoga mums, dads with beards and the occasional man bun, kids with Lionel Messi soccer jerseys and top-heavy backpacks. There are hurried embraces and pods of parents, takeaway lattes in hand, swapping info and gossip. This boisterous procession – from filing past the guard to the mass exodus when the bell sounds – takes 10 minutes before calm descends.

But at Bali's Green School, if you look past the familiarities of this ritual, incongruities begin to emerge, as in a spot-the-differences puzzle from a child's workbook. First, that bell is a gong. Second, there is the incontrovertible fact that the school is in the jungle: some eight hectares of rolling terrain abutting the Ayung (Bali's longest river) in the district of Abiansemal, about a halfhour south-west of the island's cultural capital, Ubud.

Then there's the fact that almost all of the structures – even the basketball backboards – are made of bamboo. These are no simple huts, but grand, occasionally towering, wall-less structures, graceful and whimsical, that resemble a kind of extension of The Lord of the Rings. Sometimes, during the rainy season, the rain will fall so hard on the roof that the teachers (prefaced with the Indonesian honorifics Pak or Ibu) temporarily halt lessons because they can't be heard...."
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4th January, 2018
Australian National Geographic
"It’s almost two hours of spectacular viewing from our Cessna Caravan winging northwards, first tracing the stunning coastline, then heading eastwards over the blue expanse of the Coral Sea.

Conditions are so good we fly low enough to be able to count dugongs in Moreton Bay, off Brisbane. Then we spy several huge humpback mothers with calves in the waters north of Fraser Island and the Great Sandy Strait’s crazed network of sandbanks, mangroves, salt marshes, seagrass beds and mud islands. As we finally drop down onto Lady Elliot Island’s truncated landing strip, we even glimpse a green turtle rising for a breath.

As lovely as it is, the flight reinforces a major impediment to bringing the realities of what’s happening at the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) to everyday Australians. Much of it is neither easy nor cheap to get to.

Any visit to Lady Elliot begins with a safety brief ing, mostly about the runway that extends down the middle of this tiny coral cay (and via which up to f ive Cessna-loads of tourists, seeking a quintessential reef experience, arrive or leave daily). Then for us it’s into scuba gear and straight into the water off the island’s southern tip....
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January, 2018
University of Queensland
"Volunteers from the UQ Underwater Club – UniDive have launched a technical report, maps, video and an impressive photo book – Flinders, Flora and Fauna, with the aim to raising awareness of reef conservation.

The group created the first detailed map of Flinders Reef - a small isolated reef near Moreton Island - having conducted an ecological assessment of the flora and fauna and compared the results with reefs in South East Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef.

Project Organiser Dr Chris Roelfsema said Flinders Reef is buzzing with an abundance of tropical fish and healthy corals with a cover similar to that of the Southern Great Barrier Reef – all just two hours away from Brisbane City.

“UniDive members have shown again that they take caring for local reefs seriously,” he said...."
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2017

9th December 2017
Facebook

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9th December 2017
Ten Network

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7th December 2017
Facebook
GBR LEGACY: The secret to saving the Great Barrier Reef has been unlocked.

The Great Barrier Reef Legacy has discovered 'Super Corals' that could be the answer to repopulating our greatest natural wonder.


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7th December 2017 2018
ABC News
"A scientific team scouring the Great Barrier Reef for so-called super corals is claiming the discovery of a new species that appears to have survived devastating mass bleaching events.

It is thought to be the first new coral species found in more than three decades.

The non-profit scientific research organisation Great Barrier Reef Legacy took 10 top marine researchers on a 20-day expedition to the far northern reaches of the reef.

The ABC was the only media organisation on board.

Great Barrier Reef Legacy's director John Rumney said the trip's main objective was to search for super corals that managed to survive bleaching.

"In the process we found an incredible reef with new species of coral — that's great, just fantastic," he said.

The team counted up to 181 species of living coral at the site, the exact location of which is being kept secret for conservation reasons.

Among those on board was Charlie Veron, known as the Godfather of Coral, who's responsible for discovering 20 per cent of the world's coral species.

"We've found corals that have never been recorded on the Great Barrier Reef and then we found at least one really outstanding new species," Dr Veron said...."
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2nd December 2017
ABC News
"An unprecedented voyage is underway to find ways to protect the Great Barrier Reef. Two summers of high water temperature have proven toxic for the reef, causing mass coral bleaching.

A group called Great Barrier Reef Legacy has gathered teams of researchers and reef experts from Australia and around the world, and are conducting the biggest underwater mapping and sampling expedition since the bleaching occurred.

They are also searching for so-called "super corals" that survived the bleaching.

The director of GBR Legacy and veteran tour operator John Rumney said the time had come to do something about the death of coral across large parts of the reef.

"I've been out here for 40 years and observed the changes in the reef," he said.

"When I first got here it was absolutely mind-blowingly beautiful and diverse, and over time we've seen it decline.

"We really need to start taking care of this, we're beyond the point of it taking care of itself."...."
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1st November 2017
Youtube

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6th October 2017
Believe.Earth
"Corals are living thermometers, measuring the health of the sea. If the water temperature rises above 28 degrees Celsius (82.4oF) or is cloudy, the corals start to lose microalgae that live symbiotically in their bodies. Even after the excessive heat dispels or the water returns to crystal clarity, coral takes from three to four weeks to recover. If, in the meantime, more adversity hits the seas, the sensitive colonies may turn white – a sign that they have lost their lives.

The death of coral is mainly caused by the warming of their surrounding waters and the turbidity produced by pollution and the greenhouse effect. “After the two major global coral bleaching events in 2016 and 2017, half the Great Barrier Reef in Australia has died,” says Monique Grol, one of the managers of Coral Watch, a global coral health assessment program. The Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral colony on the planet and has been recognized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as a patrimony of humanity.

Conceived by marine biologist Justin Marshall, Coral Watch is a nonprofit project working in 80 countries to map and protect coral, and educate thousands of people about the importance of fighting to preserve our ecosystems. Based at the University of Queensland in the city of Brisbane, the initiative monitors more than 1,500 reefs, 57 percent of them located in Australia. “If we do not start acting immediately, we will not have reefs to show our children,” says Marshall, an optimist about the power of collective engagement in building a better future....".
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12th September 2018
Qld Government
"Citizen science group CoralWatch will create two more positions to keep watch over the Great Barrier Reef, thanks to funding from the Palaszczuk Government.

Environment Minister Steven Miles said the non-profit organisation would receive $329,000 over the next three years to boost its ambassador and community education programs.

“The Great Barrier Reef is incredibly precious to all Australians, and provides habitat for some of the world’s most magnificent marine animals,” Mr Miles said.

“This iconic asset is valued at $56 billion and supports 64,000 direct and indirect jobs.

“It’s organisations like CoralWatch that are helping us monitor the health of the Reef, and take the sustainable living message to the wider community.

“Funding from the Government’s $12 million Community Sustainability Action Grants program will help CoralWatch expand its Ambassadors program.

“These are the people who carry out community education work, data collection and citizen science programs.

“Their work also includes distributing Coral Health Charts, delivering remote learning programs in partnership with school events, and live-streaming events.”

The Coral Health Chart was developed by scientists at the University of Queensland in 2002.

“The chart uses a series of colours to determine the health of the Reef and is simple to use,” Mr Miles said.

“The chart is held up next to the coral and a note is made of the colour. The colour gives clues as to the health of that particular reef.

“The data collected can be provided to CoralWatch through its website, and used to monitor the health of Queensland reef.

“This is citizen science at its best, and it is really key in helping to map the health of the Great Barrier Reef.”...."
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30th August 2017
Mission Blue
"The power of the people that helped to secure Hope Spot designation for Moreton Bay Marine Park in 2016 continues to build on that strong stewardship legacy. In 2017, citizen scientists have been collecting important information on the habitats and wildlife across beautiful Moreton Bay/Quandamooka including topics from mangroves to manta rays. These efforts complement the knowledge and care provided for tens of thousands of years by the traditional owners of the region, and is increasingly important with the rapidly growing population in this unique region.

“Citizen scientists provide not only data, but hope. The commitment to collecting high-quality information to help care for this unique place and its wildlife demonstrates how the community can play a truly important and influential role in science-based stewardship,” said Jennifer Loder, Reef Check Australia.

In the brink of severe coral bleaching impacting the Great Barrier Reef Hope Spot, CoralWatch (www.coralwatch.org) surveys of 460 corals in Moreton Bay showed no extreme increase of coral bleaching in this region. To enhance community awareness, the team also organised educational and awareness events with primary teachers and the public. Next to that team trained six CoralWatch Ambassadors in Brisbane, in how to organise events and reach-out to the community and make them aware about the reef and how they can help...."
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24th August 2017
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11th August 2017
The Guardian
"A scientific research expedition funded by the tourism industry will undertake the first significant underwater study of remote northern sections of the Great Barrier Reef, which were severely damaged by recent coral bleaching.

Nonprofit organisation Great Barrier Reef Legacy will launch a 21-day research trip on a 32-metre charter boat, offering at least 10 free spaces to scientists, including Charlie Veron, known as “the godfather of coral”.

As part of the expedition, Veron and other researchers will search for “super corals” – species that are most able to cope with rising temperatures.

“If you identify species of corals that appear to be resistant to bleaching – then the question is why. If you can find that out … it’s a step towards a cure or a way forward,” Veron told the Guardian.

Veron, a former chief scientist at the Australian Institute of Marine Science who is credited with discovering 20% of the world’s coral species, said having access to a vessel was invaluable, especially for researchers like him who are not currently affiliated with a university or government agency......"
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22nd June 2017
Camden Haven Courier
"Nine senior marine studies students from Camden Haven High School recently visited the beautiful Lady Elliot Island, Great Barrier Reef with their teachers Deb Geronimi and Ben Sainsbury and community member, Tom Ferrier from Camden Haven Community College.

The trip was made possible by a NSW Transport Grant received by Camden Head Pilot Station Manager Ross Butlin and Camden Haven Community College.

Without the funding for the transport it would have been extremely difficult for the students to raise the funds to go. The students and their teachers are extremely grateful.

The group left the school on May 27 and following an overnight stay at Hervey Bay took a 13-seater plane to Lady Elliot Island the following day. Four of the students had never flown before and the flight alone was an amazing experience.

On the approach to the island, giant manta Rays were spotted in the sparkling turquoise blue water below. It was not long before the students were on a glass bottom boat and snorkelling with the manta rays.

The wildlife was amazing and every morning the students were up at sunrise to have a snorkel at Lighthouse Bommie before breakfast. Manta Rays were abundant at this time of day and were observed at cleaning stations along the reef....
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7th June 2017
Townsville Bulletin
1st June 2017
Nature
"Coral reefs support immense biodiversity and provide important ecosystem services to many millions of people. Yet reefs are degrading rapidly in response to numerous anthropogenic drivers. In the coming centuries, reefs will run the gauntlet of climate change, and rising temperatures will transform them into new configurations, unlike anything observed previously by humans. Returning reefs to past configurations is no longer an option. Instead, the global challenge is to steer reefs through the Anthropocene era in a way that maintains their biological functions. Successful navigation of this transition will require radical changes in the science, management and governance of coral reefs...."
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22nd April 2017
Morning Bulletin Rockhampton
12th April 2017
The Conversation
"It is easy to feel overwhelmed when confronted with reports of the second mass bleaching event on the Great Barrier Reef in as many years. But there is a way to help scientists monitor the reef’s condition.

CoralWatch is a citizen science program started at The University of Queensland 15 years ago, with two main aims: to monitor the environment on a vast scale, and to help people get informed about marine science.

These goals come together with coral health monitoring. Divers, snorkellers or people walking around reef areas during low tides can send us crucial information about coral bleaching, helping us to build detailed pictures of the health of different reefs.

Participants can use a colour chart, backed up through the CoralWatch app or website, to measure accurately the colour and type of coral they see. The chart covers 75% of known corals and can be used with no prior training.

We also ask people to enter the type of coral (branching, boulder, plate or soft), the location and the weather. This allows scientists to quickly identify the location and extent of any problems (and is an excellent way to learn more about our reefs)....."
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23rd March 2017
Ocean Magazine
"The Ocean Mapping Expedition is a four-year journey around the world (2015-2019) in the wake of the discoverer of the Pacific, Ferdinand Magellan and will be an exceptional, one-of-a-kind opportunity to observe and map the state of the oceans today, echoing the spirit in which the Portuguese navigator and his crew embarked on their adventure almost 500 years ago.

A package of scientific, socio-educational and cultural programs will be undertaken in a multidisciplinary spirit of encounters and experience-sharing in order to gauge humanity’s impact on the oceans and contribute to the discussion of man’s place on “planet ocean”.

The Swiss expedition will depart Brisbane at the end of March 2017 to begin the second half of its journey around the world in Magellan’s wake.

Two new scientific programs will be deployed for the mapping and observation of the Great Barrier Reef, in partnership with the University of Queensland and the Australian NGO Coralwatch.

Working from Fleur de Passion, the aim will be to better understand the state of this UNESCO World Heritage site, which is witnessing serious deterioration owing to global warming, and to help develop tools for monitoring its evolution, with a view to its conservation......."
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22nd March 2017
UQ News
"A Swiss yacht on an epic research expedition to map the world’s oceans will host University of Queensland marine scientists on the Great Barrier Reef in March and April.

UQ’s Professor Justin Marshall and Dr Chris Roelfsema will lead two research projects as part of the 33m Fleur de Passion’s four-year-long Ocean Mapping Expedition.

Dr Roelfsema, of UQ’s Remote Sensing Research Centre, is leading a program to map the habitat of the Great Barrier Reef, focusing on the 200 shallow reefs in the waters around Cairns to Cooktown.

Twenty of these reefs will be surveyed from the Fleur de Passion.

“No comprehensive map of the composition of all the diverse habitats on the whole Great Barrier Reef currently exists,” Dr Roelfsema said.

“These maps will provide valuable information for monitoring and management to support current bleaching surveys, the crown of thorn star fish eradication program, marine park zone design, and day-to-day management of the Great Barrier Reef....."
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February/March 2017
Position No.87
19th February 2017
The Guardian
"The embattled Great Barrier Reef could face yet more severe coral bleaching in the coming month, with areas badly hit by last year’s event at risk of death.

. Images taken by local divers last week and shared exclusively with the Guardian by the Australian Marine Conservation Society show newly bleached corals discovered near Palm Island.

. Most of the Great Barrier Reef has been placed on red alert for coral bleaching for the coming month by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Its satellite thermal maps have projected unusually warm waters off eastern Australia after an extreme heatwave just over a week ago saw land temperatures reach above 47C in parts of the country.

. According to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, sea surface temperatures from Cape Tribulation to Townsville have been up to 2C higher than normal for the time of year for more than a month......"
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19th January 2017
Eco Koh Tao
"CoralWatch is a non-profit organization, built on a research project at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. It is their aim to provide hands-on monitoring and education tools to increase awareness of reef threats and encourage behaviour change towards a sustainable, low-carbon future.

Their main research tool is the Coral Health Chart. This Chart is basically a series of sample colours, with variation in brightness representing different stages of bleaching/recovery, based on controlled experiments. It is an inexpensive, simple, non-invasive method for the monitoring of coral bleaching and assessment of coral health. In the field, users simply compare colours of corals with colours on the chart and record matching codes. With the help of the Health Charts, anyone in the world can monitor the health of any reef across the globe.

CoralWatch database provides up-to-date data on reef conditions worldwide. They continually need more data to measure trends and improve their understanding and capacity to conserve reefs. They collaborate with Project AWARE Foundation, a non-profit environmental organisation working with divers to conserve underwater environments through education, advocacy and action. Project AWARE have registered over 1,000 CoralWatch operators worldwide, making it easy for divers and snorkelers to get involved......."
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2016

25th October 2017
Science Meets Business + Australian National Data website
"CoralWatch is a citizen data (‘citizen science’) initiative to monitor coral health worldwide. It is the first attempt at providing useful data on coral reef health at large scale with non-invasive tools. Scientists, school groups, dive centres and tourists can measure coral bleaching using the Coral Health Chart – a simple plastic square – and add their data to the CoralWatch database.
Coral bleaching occurs when increased water temperatures causes coral to expel their symbiotic algae that help absorb nutrients and provide corals vibrant colour. Rising sea temperatures due to climate change have caused unprecedented levels of coral bleaching...."
Read more - Science Meets Business
Read more - Australian National Data website