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Teen working to keep Coast beaches clean

CHAMP: ye Parkinson has been named International Sea Turtle Champion, he also collects beach rubbish and is an avid surfer.
CHAMP: ye Parkinson has been named International Sea Turtle Champion, he also collects beach rubbish and is an avid surfer. John McCutcheon

JYE Parkinson might be only 14 but when it comes to all things ocean and environment, he is wise beyond his years.

The Yaroomba teenager, along with Bokarina's Maggie McArthur, has been named an international sea turtle champion through his work with Sea Life and is now preparing to attend a conference in Bundaberg in November.

Over the years Jye has been involved in a number of environmental initatives including beach clean-ups, school presentations throughout Plastic Free July, working to put information in school newsletters, and more.

"We've always lived just across from the beach and there have been loggerheads across the road so whenever they were nesting we would go over and watch.

"Then I met the Turtle Care volunteers and wanted to help out, so now whenever there are nests I check if there have been any tracks or disturbances and go over and make sure they get to the water.

"There was a competition through Sea Life for the turtle champions, so with them we have formed a turtle focus group which is a group of about 10 of us teaching other kids, and we've arranged a few beach clean-ups and things.

"I think a lot of people know it's an issue but they are just not doing anything, so I'm trying to spread the word and get more people involved to help out.”

Jye is also a talented surfer and ambassador for Pantagonia, and first met environmentalist Tim Silverwood through a Byron Bay surf festival.

Now, the two are working to arrange a movie night later this year to raise funds for Sea Life.

"I surf most mornings and most afternoons, so I have just always been interested in helping out the ocean,” Jye said.

"Obviously I spend a lot of time there, so I would hate for it to be spoiled.

"I'm trying to organise some beach clean-ups with some of the other volunteers and it will be one at a different location each month... hopefully Marcoola, Mudjimba, Coolum, Peregian and Sunshine Beach, and then we are going to try and do some out the front here at Yaroomba as well.

"(The conference) will be good to listen to other people are up to and learn more about what it's all about.

"Anybody can help out. Everyone has just got to do something about it, it's a pretty big issue.'

Details of the beach clean-ups will be posted online when finalised.

Topics:  environment jye parkinson sea life sea turtle champions yaroomba


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