The concept of uncovering the "Value of Waves" has been with Save The Waves since its inception in 2001 and has represented fertile ground for creating tools that assist programs and campaigns to help protect coastal areas and bring awareness to the need for special surf spot and coastal protection.
How does one measure the immeasurable Value of Waves? How does one share that value with other ocean and coastal lovers? How will that information assist in local, regional, national, and international policy reform? And how will this assist in policy implementation and management?
These questions are at the heart of Save The Waves' mission, and the answers are being explored through Save The Waves programs such as World Surfing Reserves and Surfonomics. Discussing answers to these and other questions were major objectives for Save The Waves when it organized and presented the Value of Waves Roundtable on December 5th, 2008 at the Oceano Hotel and Spa in Half Moon Bay, California. This event was critical in launching the World Surfing Reserves program and refining the tools for Surf Spot Protection.
Surfonomics/Value of Wave research studies already exist to begin to answer and quantify the complex questions outlined above. These academic studies have a strong activist goal, which is to give local policy makers the tools to preserve and maintain certain areas, by informing how these pristine areas bring wealth and cultural value to the local communities. Both the World Surfing Reserves program and Surf Spot Protection campaigns benefit from this powerful tool. By partnering with Stanford University and local universities that want to develop Surfonomics studies, Save The Waves facilitates and funds credible academic research on the social, economic and cultural value of potential World Surfing Reserve sites and/or threatened waves - publishing surf spot specific research has proven to be a critical tool for helping policy makers make the right decisions for coastal protection and preservation.