To protect the surf breaks and coastlines around the world, science has to be in the mix.
That’s the message eCoast Marine Consulting and Research scientist Ed Atkin will be taking to the Global Wave Conference in Cornwall on the southwest coast of England next week.
The event will gather some of the world’s leading enviro-surf NGOs, researchers, oceanographers, environmentalists, activists, surfers and politicians to discuss the biggest threats to global surfing habitats and the increasing importance of protecting our oceans and surf breaks.
Coastlines worldwide are subject to ongoing development and resource extraction, and New Zealand’s coastlines are no exception. What makes New Zealand unique is its national policy safeguarding its surf breaks to ensure development is sustainable long-term.
“To have it in law that you have to consider any potential impacts regarding the access, amenity value and mechanics of our surf breaks, New Zealand is a very lucky country, but also leading the world in resource management of this kind,” says Atkin.
Atkin will be discussing the strength of the New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement and how science has been used to increase its effectiveness in a variety of scenarios across the country, including the Whangamata Bar, Aramoana, Taranaki, and surf breaks in the Greater Wellington region.
The Global Wave Conference will tackle other themes including protecting and managing natural surfing heritage, the threat of marine litter, water pollution and climate change, the importance of ‘blue health’ – human health & wellbeing, and ‘surfonomics’ – the growing impact and importance of the economic value of surfing to coastal communities.
You can find out more about the conference at globalwaveconference.org/.