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May 10, 2013

WILDCOAST and Surfrider Foundation Host the 3rd Global Wave Conference

NGOs, Researchers and Community Representatives from Around the World Converge in Rosarito Beach.
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Conference participants at El Mirador, overlooking the Bahia Todos Santos World Surfing Reserve.

From May 6th to May 8th, NGO leaders, researchers and community representatives from around the world converged in Rosarito Beach for the 3rd Global Wave Conference to discuss experiences and strategies to protect coastal ecosystems and resources. The conference represents a growing understanding that the world’s coastlines, and more specifically its surf spots, are important economical, ecological, cultural and recreational resources that must be protected. This discourse is becoming more prevalent among decision makers, the media, public and non-profit community.

WILDCOAST and Surfrider decided to host the 3rd Global Wave Conference in the seaside community of Rosarito, Baja California because of the coastal issues the region is experiencing and the new wave of coastal conservation. Although ocean water quality, coastal access and habitat destruction are prevalent issues, there are positive stories emerging from the Baja California Peninsula. Local conference participants presented on these issues and strategies to protect access, ecosystems and surf spots.  Fernando Marvan from Surf Ens presented on the recently established Bahia Todos Santos World Surfing Reserve and concrete conservation action items. Carlos Luna and Alfredo Ramirez discussed youth surfing in the region and the future of the sport in Baja California and Gustavo Danemann, Executive Director of Prontara, presented on the San Miguel Arroyo State Park initiative which seeks to protect the watershed that empties at one of Baja California’s most iconic surf spots.

Artemio Murillo and Jaime Villavicencio travelled all of the way from Bahia Asuncion in Baja California Sur to present on community driven conservation in their community and how surfing has been a catalyst for coastal stewardship. A very impressive heartfelt presentation was given by Barra de la Cruz community leader Pablo Narvaez who discussed how his tiny Oaxaca community of 800 people is effectively managing their coastal resources and offered a model that can be replicated in many areas around the world.

Presentations were also given by Surfers Against Sewage from the UK, Save the Waves, Salvem o Surf from Portugal, Surfrider Europe, Surfers Environmental Alliance, the Canary Island Surfing Federation, Desarrollo y Gestion Costera from Peru and Oso and Golfito Initiative from Costa Rica.

The conference concluded with a field trip to Ensenada to show some of the exceptional efforts being carried out by local community groups and NGOs.

WILDCOAST would like to thank Baja Bound Insurance, Surfrider Foundation, the Rosarito Beach Hotel and all of those who made this triumphant event a possibility.