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Where are California’s most iconic surfing sites?

World Surfing Reserves, Lower Trestles, America’s State Parks
Lower Trestles, California © ASP / Rowland



Environment Updates

List floated of potential National Surfing Reserves in the USA 

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 14 December, 2014 - With Surfing Reserves being declared from Malibu to Margaret River, researchers Brad Farmer (AUS) and Michael Blum (USA) have independently initiated a list to evaluate potential sites in California for nomination as the first USA National Surfing Reserves.

While Malibu and Santa Cruz have been declared World Surfing Reserves (WSR) since 2010, researchers Farmer and Blum believe that there would be up to 20 sites in California which could also be recognised as NSR’s over the next decade.
NSR in USA would potentially carry the protection levels of significance of America’s State Parks with associated iconic value for surfers. NSR is a program which has been a huge success in Australia and is expanding internationally.

Australia now has 18 NSR while Hawaii has two, all of which carry shared government and community support.   NSR won the Surfing Australia Hall of Fame Surfing Spirit Award earlier this year for their ground breaking surf protection and community engagement program.

“A nomination in California would need to exceed the criteria of just a great quality wave” said Farmer.  “We would include such elements as the environmental, social, historic and continuing social values to the community of each location in California, based on the successful Australian and Hawaiian models”.

Australia, UK, New Zealand and California lead the world in protecting surfing’s environmental assets and a NSR program in the USA would be a proactive and practical move to not only recognise sites but work towards tighter regulations for surf break preservation with government and stakeholders.

“The initiative would in time lobby the Governor of California Jerry Brown to support the program,” Farmer said from the Gold Coast in Australia.

Michael Blum of Malibu Surfing Association (MSA) was on the WSR team to enshrine the first Surfing Reserve in the USA. Blum is currently working on a major project: ‘Protecting California’s Surfing Breaks’ with Duke University.  

Brad Farmer is the Co-Founder of WSR and the Founder of NSR and Surfrider Foundation in Australia.

Criteria for protecting surf breaks in USA:

•    Historical and cultural significance
•    Surf break quality
•    Interest from local community
•    Economic and recreational value
•    Presence of environmental, coastal, developmental threats 

The initial list currently includes:

1.    Cortes Bank (offshore) 
2.    Blacks Beach (San Diego County)  
3.    Swami's (San Diego County) 
4.    Trestles/San Onofre (San Diego County)  
5.    The Wedge (Orange County) 
6.    Huntington Beach (Orange County) 
7.    Malibu (Los Angeles County)  
8.    Rincon (Santa Barbara County)  
9.    Pleasure Point (Santa Cruz County)  
10.   Steamer Lane (Santa Cruz County)  
11.   Mavericks (Santa Cruz County)  
12.   Ocean Beach (San Francisco County)

World Surfing Reserves, Lower Trestles, NSR, America’s State Parks
Brad Farmer

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