Surf Break Protection

Hi all! This summer I am remotely interning as the administrative assistant to the director for the Save the Waves Coalition (STW). STW is an international non-profit based out of Santa Cruz, that works in coalition with a broad range of organizations dedicated to protecting and preserving surf ecosystems. A surf ecosystem is more than just the wave, it also includes geophysical components, the plants and animals, and the human interactions that make the place special. Protection of surf ecosystems in turn safeguards marine habitats, the integrity of the wave and local livelihoods. STW focuses its efforts on locations where iconic surfing waves overlap with biodiversity hotspots that are of critical importance for marine conservation efforts. As a surfer myself, I am very excited to be working with STW to help protect surfing.

We are currently focusing on creating a network of protected surf breaks in California. We have selected California because the state’s official sport is surfing and the state is within the biodiversity hotspot, the California Floristic Province, making surf break protection even more impactful.

I am currently helping to support the efforts to draft a bill proposal for the creation of a network of protected surf breaks. I have been assembling academic papers that provide evidence supporting the connection between surfing and conservation. I am responsible for organizing all the information regarding the variety of potential overseeing bodies in California in a manner that can be easily understood and presented. I feel honored to be working alongside Nik Strong-Cvetich, Michael Blum, Zachary Plopper and others. I have been learning so much from them about the process of creating new legislation and grant writing and I’m looking forward to learning even more.

I am currently based out of Kailua-Kona and have been working remotely from here. I’m very excited about my work and I’m excited to be supporting the efforts toward surf ecosystem conservation!

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