The protection of waves has been a growing concern for Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) and other NGOs around the globe for a number of years. In early 2011, SAS proposed the first International Symposium on Protection of Waves to SAS’s sister organisations around the World including the Save the Waves Coalition, World Surfing Reserves, the Surfrider Foundation Europe and the Surfrider Foundation. The conference will bring together leading campaigners, scientists, oceanographers, international experts in wave physics, coastal morphology, wave-energy generation, coastal law and economics, plus a number of people with direct experience of over-interference with coastal ocean waves, coastal planners and coastal engineers to share ideas, discuss legislation and compare the best ways of protecting global surf spots.
The conference will explore the following questions.
- What is the value of waves to surfers and the wider community?
- What are the threats on the waves and coastlines?
- What strategies can be implemented to protect them?
The conference will be held on October 24th and 25th in Biarritz, France and in San Sebastian, Spain. For more information, please visit the conference website, where you will be able to follow the conference live: http://www.globalwaveconference.com/
SAS Director Hugo Tagholm says: “I am delighted that Surfers Against Sewage represents such significant voice on the front line of international wave protection. The Global Wave Conference will help promote worldwide recognition and understanding of the importance of protecting waves, not just for surfers but for the whole community; economically, socially, culturally and environmentally. Waves are a hugely positive symbol and weapon in SAS’s on-going campaigns to protect oceans and beaches, surfers and coastal users right across the UK.”
SAS officially launched its Protect Our Waves (POW) campaign back in 2009, however SAS has been raising public awareness about the threats to UK waves and surf spots since its very inception in 1990. Today SAS has active campaigns covering the cross-section of wave protection issues, from onshore and offshore development, to direct pollution threats, to lobbying for improved access to renowned surf spots. The official launch of the POW campaign saw over 350 local surfers paddle out at Kimmeridge Bay to call for better access to the fabled south coast wave, Broad Bench.
SAS is currently producing scoping reports for 11 offshore developments proposed for the Pentland Firth, home to classic Scottish waves, Thurso and Brimms Ness. SAS believes that it’s vital that the surfing community’s concerns are recognised during any developments EIA ( environmental impact assessment) processes so our surfing heritage is not unwittingly or deliberately damaged during the ‘blue gold rush’. SAS has also recently had local actions to protect Challaborough from potential damage from onshore sea defences, advised on proposed surfing restrictions at Cromer in Norfolk and been involved in calling for classic south coast surf spot Freshwater Bay in the Isle of Wight to be protected from a new harbour development.