California Surfers Work To Conserve Their Favorite Spots

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.

Related Reading:

Surf Culture: Green or Greenwash?

Styrofoam: From Electronics Box To Surfboard

Surfer’s Close Encounter With A Whale [Video]

Image via Thinkstock


wchi wink
.6 years ago

Right on surfers from Santa Cruz ! we need more hubs and groups like you to help protect our most treasured assets on this planet!
Thank you!

Alex C.
Alex C.6 years ago

Good news ,. but i find weird how surprised you are! Surfers have been doing this in others parts of the world , not just now! Surfrider foundation anyone? don't buy into this reputation( stereotype)

Grace Adams
Grace Adams6 years ago

I am thankful that the surfers of California care enough about their beaches to make an effort to keep them clean.

Anita Wisch
Anita Wisch6 years ago

Awesome, Dude! ;o)

Hanna Sjoberg

Thank you for living with love!

Carl Oerke
Carl O6 years ago

Catch a wave and your sitting on top of the world. Godd job on your preservation efforts.

Marilyn L.
Marilyn L6 years ago


nicola w.
Jane H6 years ago

This is a great move - making caring for the environment "cool" to young men ! Nearer to home the tourist surfers in Bali are paying for water tests and campaigning for better sewage treatment
for the resorts - Bali is getting loved to death and resort development is unchecked.
Surfers, the board manufacturers, wetsuits makers, film makers and even jetski/boat makers should get more involved.

Helle H.
Helle H6 years ago


Christeen Anderson
Christeen A6 years ago

Thanks for caring. Everyone needs to do their part.