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November 07, 2011

WiLDCOAST Attends the First Ever Global Wave Conference in Biarritz, France and San Sebastian, Spain

WiLDCOAST’s Serge Dedina, Ben McCue and Zach Plopper met with NGO representatives from around the world to present and discuss strategies and experiences on the protection of surf spots at the 2011 Global Wave Conference (GWC)
WiLDCOAST's Executive Director Serge Dedina presents at the first ever Global Wave Conference

The GWC was the first ever international symposium on the protection of waves. Representatives from NGOs such as the Surfrider Foundation, Surfers Against Sewage, Save the Waves, Salvem O Surf, WiLDCOAST and National Surfing Reserves as well as researches such as Neil Lazarow from the Grifith University Centre for Coastal Management in Queensland, Australia and T. Al Azzawi from Limoges Sports University in Limoges, France, presented on various cultural, economic and sociological aspects and experiences surrounding the importance of surf spots.

Although there have been successes and failures in the efforts to protect surf spots around the world, the conference revealed a burgeoning recognition and acceptance of surf spots as cultural and economical assets. New economic studies carried out by Save the Waves and the Surfrider Foundation are showing the tremendous economic impact surf spots have on surrounding communities. These efforts proved exceptionally useful in the battle to save Trestles from the TCA’s 241 toll road extension through the San Onofre State Park at Trestles in Southern California. They may be useful in future campaigns to save potentially threatened spots such as Rodiles in Asturias, Spain and Bastion Point in Victoria, Australia.

WiLDCOAST’s Executive Director Serge Dedina presented on our effective strategies to protect surf spots on the Baja California Peninsula from future development interests. Serge’s discussion provided invaluable insight to the panel on the perception of surf spots as ecosystems as well as economic and cultural resources. This aspect has allowed WiLDCOAST to raise significant funds to protect swaths of coastline in Baja California’s central coast. To date, WiLDCOAST has conserved a total of 21 miles of coastline through direct purchases and conservation easements.

WiLDCOAST and the NGOs that attended the GWC look forward to future discussions regarding a unified approach to the protection of surf spots worldwide. WiLDCOAST would like to thank the Surfrider Foundation and participating NGOs and researchers for the incredible opportunity.

For more information on the Global Wave Conference click here