Save The Waves Coalition (STW) is an international non-profit organization that awards World Surfing Reserve, working in alliance with related organizations, dedicated to protecting surfing ecosystems.
To protect surf ecosystems across the globe.
A world where surf ecosystems are valued and protected, and where surfing provides a vehicle for long-term coastal conservation.
To protect 1.000 surf ecosystems by 2030.
WHY DO WE FOCUS ON SURFING?
Put simply, a surf ecosystem is more than a wave: it’s the geophysical components, the plants and animals, and the human interactions that make a place special. Protecting surf ecosystems in turn protects marine habitats, maintains the integrity of the wave, and safeguards local livelihoods.
We focus on places around the world where iconic surfing waves overlap with biodiversity hotspots that are critically important for marine conservation. For us, surfing is a vehicle for larger coastal conservation efforts, i.e. ‘surf conservation’.
ATTRIBUTES OF A SURF ECOSYSTEM
We define surf ecosystems as “the land to sea interface that create the conditions for breaking, rideable waves, and the flora and fauna and human communities that are dependent upon it.”
Mobilizing A Passionate Global Community
Save The Waves believes that the surfing community holds immense knowledge, passion and responsibility for the coastlines and surf breaks we visit. We motivate and empower thisinternational community for good.
Using Surf Conservation for Biodiversity Protection
Across the globe, there are thousands of areas where world class surfing waves and globally important marine biological diversity overlap.
Save The Waves recently conducted a study showing that ~90% of the world’s top surf sites are located in global biodiversity hotspots for marine conservation and are ripe for new protected areas. The map here shows 50 globally important surfing areas overlaid with biodiversity hotspots.
WORLD SURFING RESERVES
Protecting outstanding surf breaks around the world.
World Surfing Reserves serves as a model standard for preserving wave breaks and their surrounding areas by recognizing and protecting key environmental, cultural and economic attributes in coastal communities.
Created in partnership with local communities.
We work collaboratively with local coalition partners at each site guiding them through a conservation planning process that results in the creation of a Local Stewardship Council (LSC) and a Reserve Stewardship Plan. The LSC is responsible for the ongoing management of the Reserve once established.
Current World Surfing Reserves
- MALIBU, California – USA
- ERICEIRA – PORTUGAL
- BAHIA DE TODOS OS SANTOS, BAJA – MEXICO
- GOLD COAST – AUSTRALIA
- GUARDA DO EMBAÚ – BRASIL
- HUANCHACO – PERU
- MANLY BEACH – AUSTRÁLIA
- NOOSA – AUSTRALIA
- PUNTA DE LOBOS – CHILE
- SANTA CRUZ, Califórnia – USA
The Vision Council recently approved these WSR sites but they have yet to be officially dedicated. Save The Waves is working with the future Local Stewardship Council to create a Stewardship Plan and organize a dedication ceremony.
- PUNTA BORINQUEN – PUERTO RICO
- PLAYA HERMOSA – COSTA RICA
How Does a Surf Break Become a Reserve?
Each year, the submission window opens to allow for the acceptance of one new World Surfing Reserve. The application process requires significant work from local communities and their inquiry is based on the following core criteria:
1) Quality and consistency of the wave(s);
2) Important environmental characteristics;
3) Culture and surf history;
4) Governance capacity and local support.
Ericeira Surf Clube was recently featured in a webinar promoted by the Portuguese Institute of Sport and Youth (IPDJ – Instituto Português do Desporto e Juventude) about the good practices of sport clubs under a European community program.
Next year Ericeira will once again host a World Surf League (WSL) Challenger Series event.
The stage of maximum status of the world qualifying circuit is scheduled for October 2021 (between the 5th and 10th, more precisely) in Ribeira d’Ilhas.