Surfers may have a slacker reputation, but they’re not all obsessed with having the perfect tan and hanging ten. A group of surfers in Santa Cruz recently used their political influence (yes, you read that right) to convert their favorite stretch of beach into a World Surfing Reserve.
The surfers, some of whom are city council members and business owners, partnered with other Santa Cruz officials to protect†the area’s near seven-mile stretch of coast from pollution and other threats. Since†there’s no legal protection that comes with being a World Surfing Reserve, it falls to the surfers and beach-lovers to assess the potential impact of development projects as they come down the pipeline.
“Anything that’s going to affect the ability to get in the water and stay in the water as long as possible is a top priority for us,” said Brian Kirkpatrick, who handles marketing for O’Neill Wetsuits.
Although they may not have the same clout as EPA officials, it’s nice to know that there are surfers who are also environmentalists, with a vested interest in keeping California’s beaches clean and safe. So many of them have had their first and most memorable nature experiences in the cold but consistent waves of Santa Cruz. May we all be so bold as to take deliberate, powerful action on behalf of the wild places that help us become stronger, more well-rounded people.
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