Santa Cruz, California: a sanctuary of world surfing | Photo: Ryan Craig

The World Surfing Reserve dedication ceremony for Santa Cruz, California, will be on April 28th 2012. The ceremony will officially establish the Santa Cruz coastline as a World Surfing Reserve, joining other iconic surfing locations that have been enshrined including Malibu, California and Ericeira, Portugal.


Manly Beach, Australia has also been approved and will be dedicated in the first half of 2012.

The Santa Cruz zone was approved in February 2011 as an official World Surfing Reserve. The Santa Cruz Reserve, approximately 11 km (7 miles) of coast extending from Natural Bridges on the western end to Opal Cliffs just east of Pleasure Point, is a stretch of cold-water dream waves along a breathtaking coastline that boasts one of the most robust coastal and marine ecosystems on the planet.

The region is characterized by a unique surf culture with a deep-rooted history of surfing including credit as the birthplace of surfing in North America. The zone is best known for the iconic spots at Steamer Lane and Pleasure Point, both world-renowned righthand pointbreaks.


“Throughout the world Santa Cruz is synonymous with cold-water surfing and known for its progressive environmental ethos,” said Dean LaTourrette, Executive Director of Save The Waves Coalition and World Surfing Reserves Executive Committee Member. “Its dedication as a World Surfing Reserve will help focus environmental protection of the surf zone locally as well as serve as a global model for stewardship of coastal regions.”

World Surfing Reserves is also pleased to announce the formation of the Local Stewardship Council for the Santa Cruz World Surfing Reserve. This group, including community activists, environmentalists, elected officials, and surf industry representatives, will create a Local Stewardship Plan and will work to oversee the management of the Santa Cruz Reserve.

Jim Littlefield, who serves as the West Coast Environmental Projects Director for Surfers’ Environmental Alliance, will chair the Santa Cruz Local Stewardship Council. Additionally the council will include Mark Stone, John Leopold, Hilary Bryant, Jane McKenzie, Dustin MacDonald, Dan Young, and Brian Kilpatrick.

"Santa Cruz is the documented birthplace of surfing on the North American continent and surfing and surf culture are key elements of our communities' public image,” said Jim Littlefield. ”I'm pleased to represent the reserve through the Local Stewardship Council - this is a true global honor for Santa Cruz."

In addition to the Local Stewards, an array of high profile surfers will serve as Ambassadors for the Santa Cruz World Surfing Reserve including Kyle Thiermann, Sarah Gerhardt, Robert “Wingnut” Weaver, Jamilah Star, and Ken “Skindog” Collins.

These ambassadors have been selected for their contributions to the sport of surfing, the Santa Cruz community, and the coastal environment. They will help to promote the long-term conservation of the Santa Cruz World Surfing Reserve.

“What better spot than Santa Cruz for a World Surfing Reserve?” remarked Skindog. “This place has it all, and I’m stoked to see it get the recognition it deserves.”