Aussie pro surfers Isabella Nichols and Ryan Callinan teamed up conservation groups and Margaret River locals to help plant native species and restore coastal dunes on the Gnarabup coastline for WSL One Ocean, ahead of the Margaret River Pro.

 “I feel like when we go to different stops and tour locations it’s always we’re taking… and to come and give back to the local environment, it means so much to all of us”, said Nichols. “Hopefully we can leave it as we found it, and maybe better. Wherever you are in the world, whether you’re a local or a tourist, get involved.”

Video courtesty of the WSL.

Nichols and Callinan joined a small army of local volunteers, including those from the Shire of Augusta Margaret River, Margaret River Coastal Residents Association, Undalup Association Inc., Great Southern Reef Foundation, Tangaroa Blue and juniors from Cowaramup Bay Boardriders, who planted native pigface and spinifex into the dunes and lay down brush to close extra tracks and give the vegetation a chance to recover.

Above: WSL CT surfers Isabella Nichols and Ryan Callinan joined local conservation groups and youth to work together to help restore the coast in Margaret River. – Surfing WA / Raeley jones

The event took place after a Coastal Forum hosted by the region’s peak conservation group in collaboration with Surfing WA and the WSL at Surfers Point. The forum not only recognised the hard work of those dedicated to protecting the Margaret River coastline but also put the spotlight on the many threats, including erosion, climate change, habitat loss and being “loved to death”.

At the forum, there was almost unanimous support for the idea of a new voluntary “coastal code”, encouraging locals and visitors to become stewards and champions of our coast and its conservation. The concept is modelled on the Palau Pledge, which introduced a requirement for visitors to sign a pledge to act in an ecologically and culturally responsible way on the tiny Pacific Island nation.

“A lot of us use the coastline for fun and recreation, but it’s really important we become custodians and stewards and stewards for the coast too,” said Nature Conservation general manager Drew McKenzie.


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