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They are how we protect our special coastal places

04 • 28 • 2012

Santa Cruz World Surfing Reserve Designated

On February 3, 2011, Save The Waves Coalition and World Surfing Reserves announced that the area from Natural Bridges to Opal Cliffs in the City and County of Santa Cruz would be designated as a World Surfing Reserve. The formal announcement was made on March 3, 2011 and the formal dedication occurred on April 28, 2012. The designation creates the world's 4th surfing reserve and adds these areas to the growing list of reserves established to proactively protect surf breaks and facilitate local stewardship.

At least 23 consistent surf breaks are sited along this coast, including the world-class breaks of Steamer Lane and Pleasure Point. Santa Cruz proudly claims to be the location of the very first board surfing ever in North America, at the “Rivermouth” break in 1885, as documented in The Santa Cruz Surf. When three visiting Hawaiian princes had surfboards milled out of local redwood and demonstrated board wave riding for the first time, Santa Cruz was immediately established forever as the birthplace of surfing on the continent. A strong surf culture continues today as a key part of the area’s image, with many local residents embracing surfing as a central part of their lifestyle.

This effort was led by Surfer's Environmental Alliance, facilitated by Save the Waves Coalition through their World Surfing Reserves program, and supported by the Santa Cruz Chapter of Surfrider Foundation amongst other local organizations, political bodies, and individuals.

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