Surf Protection
April 20 2013

Surf Protection in the UK

by Chad Nelsen

Last week, I had the priveledge of co-presenting on surf and wave protection with Andy Cummins from Surfers Against Sewage at the 2013 International Coastal Symposium held at Plymouth University in the UK.

The International Coastal Symposium is a technical conference largely focused on coastal physical processes (waves, currents, riptides, beach formation, etc.) but also included subjects like responding to sea level rise, wetland protection and offshore energy projects and had a track on coastal management, which is where we fit it.

The conference is truly international with representation from all over the globe. For example, over thirty Korean scientists were in attendance. A big picture take away from the conference is that the US is way behind when is comes of adaptation to sea level rise and also embracing offshore renewable energy. 


Our goal was to introduce the basic concept of surf protection, breakdown stereotypes about surfers and talk about how surfers are moving from reactive campaigns (like Save Trestles) to protective efforts, like SAS's Protect Our Waves campaign.

Click here to  check out our presentation entitled, "Paradise Lost: Threatened Waves and Strategies for Global Protection."


Plymouth is a port town and Plymouth University has excellent marine and coastal science research programs, including one of the most impressive indoor wave tanks I have ever seen. 

Outside the tank, the natural waves were also pretty impressive during the week. 

Photo credit: Salt Shots Photography