Elizabeth (Liz) Hofius: Marine Managed Areas with Surfing in Mind

Save the Waves
June 7-August 31, 2022
Santa Cruz, California, USA

Liz will be assisting with two projects with the Save the Waves Coalition. The first project is aimed at informing policy and management around climate vulnerability of California’s natural surfing capital. There is a pressing need to estimate the value of California’s surfing economy, its vulnerability to climate change, and the policy choices that will maintain its value when making policy and planning for sea level rise and coastal adaptation across the state. Importantly, it is necessary to understand not just the physical changes in these natural resources, but the behavioral responses of local communities and coastal tourists to these changes, and the socioeconomic impacts that result. Liz will assist with examining and collecting data from many sources including, but not limited to, historically observed conditions and climate change vulnerability projections, existing management frameworks, and economic survey instruments.  From the valuation data, a functional benefit transfer model will be developed, by which coastal managers and policy experts can derive credible estimates of the value of surfing in alternative locations, and at the state level (Project Tasks 5 and 6 – aligned with OPC Goal 4). Integrating the economic information with estimates of surf break vulnerability will enable further exploration of key policy considerations, including potential measures to reduce vulnerability of individual surfing destinations, at both the site and locality level (Project Task 6 – OPC Goals 4 and 2), as well as policy recommendations to improve access to surf amenities to benefit disadvantaged communities.  

The second project that Liz will be assisting with is a collaboration between Save the Waves, Surfrider (along with Sea of Clouds) and other non-profit groups and agencies to create a network of Surfing Protected Areas across California as a solution to protecting California’s recreational coastal economies and ecosystems and achieve the 30 x 30 goals outlined by the Governor. Liz will help define a strategy and structure for how a network of surfing protected areas can be created within the California policy context, and build external support for the concept. While assisting with these projects, Liz will be compiling and organizing necessary background information and supporting weekly meetings.  

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