As I paddle out into the chilly, kelpy clutches of the Monterey Bay, the sun peeks over the Aptos hills and fills the morning with a golden glow. Glassy head-high waves wash through the line-up, and an otter appears with a fresh catch of a kelp crab next to me. At no point do I take this experience for granted. I understand that this moment in time and this experience are special and worth protecting. It is moments and coasts like these that Save The Waves Coalition (STW) strives to protect worldwide.
Many times in the past, STW has opposed governments making ill-advised development projects that destroy the waves and the coastal environment. We’ve done it vocally and vociferously, and we’ll likely do it again when another piece of surfing coast around the world is under threat. However, we prefer to be forward-thinking and to work proactively on preserving and protecting our coastal heritage for generations, rather than acting in reactive opposition. This has led us to develop new creative strategies for coastal protection; namely the use of economics and surfing protected areas.