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Margaret River conservation group partners with World Surf League to teach young people marine conservation

Craig DuncanAugusta Margaret River Times
Margret River Surf Academy trainer Simon Tien, Nature Conservation’s Caring For Coast program officer Mandy Polley and navy paramedic diver, Joe Knight.
Camera IconMargret River Surf Academy trainer Simon Tien, Nature Conservation’s Caring For Coast program officer Mandy Polley and navy paramedic diver, Joe Knight. Credit: Nature Conservation Margret River

A group of Margaret River’s youth are set to be involved in a truly radical project.

They will develop leadership skills, learn to free-dive and read the coastline during a partnership with the one of the region’s largest conservation groups.

Nature Conservation Margaret River has partnered with the World Surf League to select 20 candidates aged 15 to 18 to take part in their new youth marine stewardship program, aiming to build a culture of coastal stewardship.

Nature Conservation was the only Australian non-for-profit group to be successful for the World Surfing League’s Pure Grant Program, which funds conservation projects around the world.

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In March, the 20 people selected will be thrown into the deep end, through a series of free workshops.

The workshops are all linked to marine conservation and cover topics including leadership, mental health, indigenous culture, freediving, reading the coastline and coastal conservation.

The group will identify threats in the local marine ecosystem, develop innovative solutions and, with the funding from the World Surf League, bring their goals to life.

Nature Conservation general manager Drew McKenzie said it was an incredible opportunity for the chosen candidates, with benefits from the program to flow on to the community.

“The coast is a great source of fun and recreation for many of us, but our goal is to inspire locals to be custodians and stewards for the coast too,” he said.

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