Groups unite to mon­i­tor reef

Pilbara News - - News - Tom Zaun­mayr

Reef Check Aus­tralia and Cape Con­ser­va­tion Group are work­ing to­gether to build a vol­un­teer reef health mon­i­tor­ing project for the North West Coast.

Vol­un­teers from CCG have been trained to sur­vey reef health us­ing the glob­ally-stan­dard­ised pro­to­cols and will gather in­for­ma­tion on reef com­po­si­tion, abun­dance of in­di­ca­tor or­gan­isms and reef health im­pacts.

The project will build the ca­pac­ity for lo­cal vol­un­teers to col­lect on­go­ing data on near-shore reef ar­eas.

CCG pres­i­dent Susie Bed­ford said the project had been years in the mak­ing. “Fi­nally the Nin­ga­loo Reef Check group will be able to op­er­ate in­de­pen- dently, al­though still un­der the Reef Check um­brella,” she said.

“We will be con­tribut­ing to the shal­low wa­ter co­ral reef sur­veys for the Nin­ga­loo Outlook project, a marine re­search partnership be­tween BHP Bil­li­ton and CSIRO.

“We will also be able to pro­vide data to man­age­ment agen­cies such as the Depart­ment of Parks and Wildlife in re­la­tion to sur­veys con­ducted at pop­u­lar tourist snorkelling sites.”

Pro­grams and part­ner­ships di­rec­tor Jen­nifer Loder said Reef Check Aus­tralia was thrilled to be sup­port­ing the Cape Con­ser­va­tion Group.

Data will be shared in the on­line Reef Health Data­base and in a col­lab­o­ra­tive sum­mary re­port on the Reef Check Aus­tralia web­site.

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