UQ scientists and volunteers measure coral health
UQ scientists and volunteers measure coral health
7 August 2012

A passionate team from The University of Queensland will be offering free public workshops on coral conservation for National Science Week (August 11- 19) as part of a UQ project called Corals at Your Doorstep.

The project aims to raise awareness about the importance of marine life in Moreton Bay and show how science can help ensure the future health of the region.

UQ scientists will run two field workshops at Wellington Point on Friday, August 17 or Saturday, August 18, where participants can learn about Moreton Bay corals and marine life, and get a chance to step into the water to learn how to monitor coral health.

Corals at Your Doorstep is an initiative of CoralWatch, a UQ-based not-for-profit organisation that integrates global monitoring of coral bleaching with community education about coral reef conservation.

CoralWatch Project Manager for Monitoring and Research Dr Angela Dean said Corals at Your Doorstep was a great way for the community to get involved with marine conservation and help maintain a healthy environment for corals.

“Moreton Bay is such an amazing place – there are more than 120 species of corals, and so much other marine life, and yet many people living in Brisbane don't realise what is on their doorstep,” she said.

"Historically, branching corals were found in both inshore and offshore areas – but increased soil run-off into our catchments has affected corals. Now, only smaller, slower growing corals are found in many inshore areas. Our activities do affect corals, so it’s important to look after rivers and catchments to protect our bay.”

“There are many scientists working on Moreton Bay and their research shows us that corals and seagrass are important for the health of the bay and the marine life.”

Other initiatives of Corals at Your Doorstep include displays to be showcased at various locations in Brisbane and an online educational quiz on coral and reef health.

Since 2002, more than 1300 volunteers from more than 60 countries have contributed to the CoralWatch global database on coral bleaching. CoralWatch monitoring materials are available in 10 languages.

CoralWatch also produces educational materials, including the book “Coral Reefs and Climate Change” (available in English and Bahasa Indonesia) and Reef Education Packages for Schools.

Details about the free public workshops: When: Friday 17th August at 12 noon OR Saturday 18th August at 12 noon – 4 pm (approx) Where: Wellington Point What to bring: Protective footwear suitable for walking in shallow water More information: http://www.coralwatch.org Please RSVP your attendance at 3365 3127 or info@coralwatch.org

Media contact: Dr Angela Dean (CoralWatch) 07 3365 3127 or a.dean@uq.edu.au or Caroline Bird (UQ Communications) 07 3365 1931 or c.bird1@uq.edu.au