Save the Waves...
On the 25th and 26th of February, Tenerife was lucky enough to celebrate the 1st International Conference of the Protection of Waves and Coastline.
Presented by the Spanish Surfing Federation, Canary Islands Surfing Federation and the National Sports Council and organized by Ángel Lobo Rodrigo of the Canary Surf Federation and Tony Butt, reputable oceanographer from the UK, Surf Canaries went over to join in with this historical event and here we can report the outcome.
Many speakers came from all over the world to the event, representing important pressure groups and lobbyists such as the Surfrider Foundation and Save the Waves. On top of this, some very well respected names came also such as co-organizer Tony Butt.
Tony is from the UK and is a very well respected scientist, particularly in the field of Oceanography and its relationship to surfing. He is also a big wave surfer and currently resides in a quiet part of North Eastern Spain where he spends his time researching and hunting big waves.
Josh Berry from Save the Waves was also over, a long way from his home in the USA and also representative of the Surfrider Foundation who had travelled from France .
Here is an overview of what was discussed and concluded at the seminars;
So what's the big deal?
Waves are the backbone of sport and leisure activities such as surfing, windsurfing, and other popular ocean pursuits. Yet waves are also constantly at risk of destruction or damage from development, pollution, erosion, climate change and other threats.
Waves get a “bad press” as they destroy areas of economic importance, so why should we preserve them?
Beach protection is sometimes a dressed up way of getting buildings closer to that valuable “front line” on the shore. We as the public must be careful to watch if this construction benefits the public, or just a rich few…
Where waves are destroying areas that have been urbanized, but it is often for that reason – is shouldn't have been built to begin with! Do we really want the public sector to throw good money after bad by building protection to protect first sea defences? Then repeat that in another 20 years?!
Can we save money on our “beach repairs”?
By original planning, the public sector can save money in the future. If construction is not so close to the ocean, less money will have to be spent protecting it.
Is there a real economic advantage to having a good surf spot in your area?