Lengthy battle ends with famous South American big-wave spot becoming a World Surfing Reserve
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 15 November, 2017 - After years of fighting, Punta de Lobos will now remain free from development. The property at the tip of the iconic Chilean point, which had been threatened by real estate development, has now been purchased and transferred from private ownership to the Fundación Punta de Lobos. Patagonia is proud to share this news with you and we would appreciate you covering this story and sharing the news with your readers.
In 2013, when surfer Ramón Navarro along with other local activists learned there were potential plans for large-scale development along the beloved Lobos shoreline, the community rallied hard to protect the place they loved. Their vision was to keep the area’s marine and terrestrial environments as intact as possible, to keep development in check and to ensure continued access to the ocean for the community of people who called Lobos home.
With Ramón’s leadership, Patagonia partnered with a passionate group of local surfers, environmentalists, government officials and business leaders to help. Additionally, Save The Waves Coalition led a successful crowdfunding campaign called Lobos Por Siempre, gathering small donations from surfers all over the world. Patagonia then matched $100,000 in donations with the funds helping local activists to establish the nonprofit Fundación Punta de Lobos.
Work began to establish Lobos as a World Surfing Reserve and to raise funds to purchase private properties along the point and transfer them to the Fundación for conservation. Chris Malloy also directed a short film – The Fisherman’s Son – and collected stories for a book to raise awareness.
This past summer, Patagonia donated $150,000 from the company’s PSI Vest licensing program to the campaign. But a substantial funding gap still remained before Mirador, the iconic property at the top of the point, could be purchased so Patagonia donated another substantial sum to close the gap. Chilean philanthropist Nicholas Davis had generously held the Mirador in a trust until it could be purchased for conservation and it has now been successfully transferred to the Fundación - saving the Mirador from development forever.
Punta de Lobos now has full status as a World Surfing Reserve and a celebration will kick off with a panel discussion tomorrow, November 14th at 11am PST which will feature Ramon Navarro, Greg Long and Jack Johnson. This panel will be live-streamed on Patagonia’s Facebook page. It’s an all-too-rare conservation success story and huge thanks are owed to everyone who contributed to the campaign in ways great or small.