TWENTY young locals will have the opportunity of the lifetime to learn from some of the biggest names in coastal conservation, watermanship and leadership as part of an exciting initiative coming to the region. 

The new youth marine stewardship program is being run by Nature Conservation Margaret River Region. Find the FAQs Page and Application Form HERE.

Twenty young people with a keen interest in the ocean will be selected to attend free workshops all linked to the marine world but covering diverse topics including leadership, mental health, indigenous culture, freediving, reading the coastline and coastal conservation. 

The list of experts who will run some of the workshops includes University of WA’s Ocean Institute’s Dr Tim Langlois; Nature Conservation’s Caring For Coast program officer Mandy Polley; marine debris group Tangaroa Blue’s WA program coordinator Casey Woodward; Undalup Association cultural custodian Zac Webb; freediving and breath-hold trainer and former Navy paramedic diver Joe Knight; Margaret River Surf Academy trainer and mental health professional Simon Tien; and Millenium Kids youth board chair Bella Poll. More expert presenters are to be confirmed. 

As part of the exciting new initiative, the 20 candidates will also zero in on threats to our local marine ecosystem or coast. Then, they’ll devise innovative solutions and even be able to tap into a funding war chest to bring them to reality, helped along the way by local experts. Plus, the candidates will have the chance to lead a community conservation busy bee with some of the world’s best surfers during the World Surf League’s Margaret River Pro in April. 

“It’s an incredible, free-of-charge opportunity for young people in our region to attend really engaging workshops that would normally cost hundreds of dollars each,” says program coordinator Tracey Muir. “We want you to get in touch if you’re aged 15-18 and live between Dunsborough and Augusta, have a passion for the ocean and coast, want to learn some incredible skills, and make a real difference in our coastal community. 

“The fantastic thing about this marine youth stewardship program is that it’s designed to inspire our next generation of coastal custodians – local young people who know and love the ocean but also want to protect it. All you need to do is head to www.natureconservation.org.au, follow the links and fill out the application form to apply.” Applications are open now and must be submitted before February 13. 

Nature Conservation general manager Drew McKenzie said it was an incredible opportunity for the chosen candidates – while benefits from the program would flow on to the community. “The coast is a great source of inspiration, 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. 

“This program really aligns with our motto of connect, respect and act. That means acting with respect, treading lightly, knowing and understanding the flora and fauna, joining a coast care or environment group, and giving back.”