A combined Townsville Council, State Government, Commonwealth and
community based initiative to maintain and enhance our waterways in the
coastal dry tropics.

Increasing Community Engagement in Townsville Coastal Catchments for Biodiversity Project
Funded by the Australian Government's Caring for our Country program.

2011 Sub Projects

Activities and Events

Bluewater Creek | Bohle Northshore | Bohle Riparian | Bohle Wetland | Clemant Wetlands | Cocoa Creek | Community Nurseries | Creekwatch | Cungulla Foreshore | Cungulla Wetland | GBR Habitat | Geoffrey and Alma Bay | Horseshoe Bay Habitat | Horseshoe Bay School | M.I. Weed Awareness | Mundy Creek | Nelly Bay Catchment | Nelly Bay Turtle | Northern Beaches | Oak Valley Finch | Paluma Catchment | Petersen Creek | Rainforest Birds Book | Ross River | Rowes Bay Foreshore | Rowes Bay Wetlands | Saunders Beach | Toomulla Foreshore | Town Common Bike TrailTown Common Concept | Town Common Volunteers | Townsville Planning Scheme

Short Title: GBR Habitat

Great Barrier Reef Habitat Health Training and Monitoring

Location: Great Barrier Reef, Townsville Region

Organisation: Reef Check Australia

Project Summary:

This is a comprehensive project that strives to deliver complimentary programs that help the Townsville community connect with and protect their local coastal and reef resources.

This includes increasing accessibility to the necessary knowledge, skills and hands-on opportunities to engage in reef health issues, appreciate connections between land and water and participate in relevant conservation actions.

Involved Parties :

- Tangaroa Blue Ocean Care

- Sea Turtle Foundation

- Reef Check volunteers

Other organisation

- Marine Wildlife Australia

- Splash Watersports

- Salt Scuba Diving

- Reef Safari dive centre

- Adrenalin dive centre

- Fantasea

Completed actions and events:

•    The Bag It Movie and Public Awareness Events with Sea Turtle Foundation, TropEco and Take 3. There were more than 200 participants for Magnetic Island movie screening and more than 40 at the Court Theatre – 30 September 2011

•    Volunteer training for Tangaroa Blue marine debris protocols at Rowes Bay Sustainability Centre (35 participants). First Tangaroa Blue debris survey in Townsville - February 2012

•    Reef Check Methods volunteer training course for 5 new volunteers. Training incorporated the use of new PADI Distinctive Specialty Reef Health Surveyor certification as well as new and improved training materials - April 19 to 22 2012

•    5 Reef Health surveys. Sites included Nelly Bay (6 October 2012), Florence Bay (17 February 2012), Alma Bay(17 February 2012), Geoffrey Bay (1 October 2011) and Wheeler Reef (19 May 2012). These sites are all long-term monitoring locations with at least 6 years of data. Data displays are available online to the public and data users through the Reef Health Database (http://www.reefcheckaustralia.org/data.html) and will be compiled in a larger Great Barrier Reef survey report

•    The REEFSearch program development has been steady, but time consuming. During this project we continued trialling our original underwater slates and incorporated the community and stakeholder feedback to make multiple improvements for an updated version. The program has been used by Reef Safari Magnetic Island, who helped us launch the pilot program in July 2011. We have printed the updated slates and will continue distributing them and working with local contacts to build the program. We are in discussion with the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority regarding a coordinated delivery approach for the programs offered by our organisations. This grant helped kick-start our efforts to apply for additional funding and resources to build and implement the new program (including funding for an online system to share findings, a supporting guidebook and a REEFSearch schools program).