Guarda do Embaú celebrates World Surfing Reserve approval – SaveTheWaves
Guarda do Embaú becomes a World Surfing Reserve – SurferToday
October 27th 2016
Guarda do Embaú is home to a legendary wave that breaks at the mouth of the powerful Do Madre River throughout the year. The best months for waves are during rainy season (summer and part of autumn), but waves are on offer throughout the year. The rainy season sees consistently long, hollow left-hand barrels the break off of a scenic rocky headland. The wave works best with a East swell reaching up to 10 feet. Guarda do Embaú hosts professional and amateur local, state and national surf competition such as Rip Curl Groom Search 2007 when Gabriel Medina and Felipe Toledo were crowned.
For generations Guarda do Embaú was just a small, sleepy fishing and agricultural village. In the 1970s, surfers discovered the epic waves and it is now internationally recognized as one of the best surf spots in Brazil. Each decade has ushered in an expansion of local surf culture and witnessed a growing influence over other aspects of the community. Guarda do Embaú is now a full -ledged surf community and surfing has played an important role in creating a strong environmental ethic in the village.
Guarda is also a multi-generational fishing village so there is a deep inherent respect for their coastal resource. From May to July, Guarda do Embaú beach closes down for mullet fishing and surfing is not allowed. During this period, Prainha, a small deserted beach where the access is made by the coast of the North side of the beach of Guarda is a good option. The history of surfing in Brazil cannot be written without mentioning Guarda do Embaú. Early 1970s. 1979.
Guarda do Embaú is located in a pristine coastal environment flanked by rivermouths, protected areas, and mature sand dune systems. The village is situated directly adjacent to the Serra do Tabuleiro State Park, the largest conservation area in the Brazilian state of Santa Catarina, which boasts a stunning natural environment including the Do Madre River, and an intact estuary system, The combination of world-class waves in a pristine coastal setting were strong attribues in their favor during the selection process.
Serra do Tabuleiro State Park, created in 1975 is the largest conservation area with full protection in the state of Santa Catarina and occupies an area of approximately 87,405 ha, taking up about 1% of the territory of Santa Catarina that protects a wide diversity of habitats (mangrove, restinga, dense and mixed rain forest, cloud forest and fields, altitude fields, distributed in plains and mountains) where 9 municipal districts are partially inserted in the park. This park provides water to agricultural food production and industrial processes and also holds the main water supply source of capital Florianópolis and surrounds.
Guarda do Embaú and Serra do Tabuleiro State Park are home to several endangered species, incliuding: the macuco (Tinamussolitarius), the piping guan (Pipile jacutinga), the parrot-of-breasted purple (Amazona vinacea), the Rufous-conic (Triclariamalachitacea), the howler monkey (Alouatta fusca), Cat -do-mato-small (Leoparustigrinus), puma (Puma concolor), among others (CATARINA, 2002).
Guarda do Embaú village is located in a sandbank area (herbaceous/shrubby coastal sand-dune habitats) and the beach is separated from the village by the Da Madre River. The river has its mouth in the north part of the beach and its water has good quality. The river is responsible to form a sandbank that stretches for several kilometers between the river and the sea.
Guarda do Embaú is home to a world- class wave that breaks consistently year-round and is known as one of the best surf spots in Brazil. It is situated directly adjacent to the Serra do Tabuleiro State Park, the largest conservation area in the Brazilian state of Santa Catarina, which boasts a stunning natural environment including the Do Madre River, an intact estuary system, and a mature sand dune system. The combination of world-class waves in a pristine coastal setting has nurtured a vibrant, conservation-minded surf community that seems to grow stronger by the year.
Home to the late Brazilian surfing legend, Ricardo Dos Santos, Guarda do Embaú’s approval has national significance. Brazil’s booming surf industry and growing dominance on the professional surf tour (WSL), has made it the second most popular sport after soccer. The World Surfing Reserve approval holds the promise to harness Brazil’s love of the sport for a deeper commitment to coastal activism and protection amongst the Brazilian surf world and policy-makers.
Marcos Aurélio Gungel (“Kito”), former President and current Director of Communications for the Association of Surfing and Preservation of Guarda do Embaú was the principal organizer for the WSR application. Kito said ‘The World Surfing Reserve approval represents the possibility to trace the history, the culture, and the environmental characteristics of Guarda do Embaú. We seek to create a management plan to preserve and protect our coastline in response to the environmental issues that might threaten our waves and local tradition.”