The Roundtable

posted by / News / December 11, 2008

While you were playing Guitar Hero in between sessions —or punching your time card and hating your job — few people in a small room in a hotel in Half Moon Bay were working on making a difference for surfers all over the world.

The Value of Waves Roundtable, presented by Save The Waves, brought environmentalists, surfers, scientists, artists, policy-makers, and surf industry executives together to discuss the World Wave Sites program. The WWS aims to proactively designate and help preserve our planet’s best waves and wave environments by designating them as surfing reserves.

“The goal is that in the future our best waves aren’t in wave parks,” said Wallace Nichols of Ocean Revolution.

The all star cast represented many of the best minds that surfing has to offer, including Jim Moriarty, the CEO of the Surfrider Foundation, Mark Massara, the Director of {{{Sierra}}} Club’s Coastal Programs, and Drew Kampion, the former editor of Surfer and Surfing Magazine and current American Editor of The Surfer’s Path.

Participants gave presentations on the aesthetics of surfing, the economic value of waves, coastal laws, and the management and conservation of natural surfing resources. Basically it was like a long day at school if all your classes were about surfing and the ocean, and you never got bored.

“We couldn’t have had a better outcome,” said Joo De Macedo, the Program Manager. “A lot was covered and all the Guest Participants were extremely supportive and fully endorsed the launch of the program.”

Although Joo was optimistic, he acknowledged the fact that this is a first step in what is to be a long process.

“The next steps will be to consolidate and implement other partnerships, namely with the ASP, the Global Heritage Fund and other environmental NGOs, and to launch a first tentative list of World Surfing Reserve candidates, approved by Roundtable participants and subject to approval from local communities where the waves and coastal areas are located,” Joo said.

At the end of the day all of the guest participants were invited to be provisional members of the advisory board for the WWS program.

Non-surfers may balk at the idea of a surfing reserve, similar to the way that city-folk can’t understand National Parks, but Kampion summed up the argument for the reserves. “We can’t be apologetic that certain surf spots are a necessary medium for the expression of our art form,” said Kampion. “Art wins, at the end of the day, art trumps everything.”

Don’t wait for reserve designation. Help save your homebreak now by going to Surf-First.org

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