End of summer reflection

What did you accomplish with your host organization? What was the impact of your work?

            While working with Save the Waves Coalition, I was able to lay the foundation for a legislative bill proposal form (Leg Form) for a network of protected surf reserves, which we submitted to California State Senator, John Laird. This is essentially the very early stage of bill creation. I helped to compile resources and fill out the form that we submitted. We were able to set up a meeting with the Senator, in which the form outlined the bill that we proposed. The meeting with the Senator was informative, and based on the status of the proposal we submitted, it was concluded that the bill proposal be delayed for one year in order to garner more support for the proposal.

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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.

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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.  

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