May 14 2013

The world’s largest gathering dedicated to global wave protection with representatives from 19 organizations and ten different countries came together for the 3rd Global Wave Conference in Rosarito, Mexico. The three-day conference concluded with the signing of a conference statement on wave protection and coastal preservation that marked the unity of the world’s surf protection organizations.

“Over the last decade the surf conservation movement has blossomed but until recently the world’s surf protection groups have been working in isolation,” says Surfrider Foundation Environmental Director Dr. Chad Nelsen. “The Global Wave Conference is designed to change that and promote exchange of knowledge and programs, information sharing and collaboration, with the larger goal to establish a unified front for global wave protection.”

The conference focused on surfing and coastal conservation in Mexico, with case studies from the U.S.-Mexico border, Baja California and Barra de la Cruz in mainland Mexico, Surfonomics (economic valuation of surfing), proactive strategies and innovative programs to protect waves, and case studies of on the ground action for wave protection around the world.

"Representation from small coastal fishing and surfing villages put a spotlight on some great examples of surf protection taking place under the radar in Mexico, one of the most popular countries for surf tourism on the globe," said WildCoast's Coastal and Marine Director Zach Plopper. "These locals provide real world case studies in how to establish community-based conservation programs that balance tourism, surfing and long term coastal protection."

Some of the early results from this year’s Global Wave Conference include:

  • Information and sharing of wave protection case studies and strategies.
  • Establishment of many collaborative projects between attending groups.
  • Establishment of a Wave Protection Network and strong commitment to work together, including the signing of the “Global Wave Conference 2013 Statement on Wave Protection & Coastal Preservation.”
  • Establishment of the first Global Wave Wednesday on May 15, 2013. As an act of solidarity the attending groups agreed to support Surfers Against Sewage’s Protect Our Wave campaign, which is designed to increase legal protection for surfing in the UK. On May 15th, all involved groups will promote the Protect Our Wave petition.

The Global Wave Conference 4 will take place in 2015 in the United Kingdom and will be hosted by Surfers Against Sewage.