1000 WAVES
BY 2030

When we talk about protecting waves, we are referring to surf ecosystems. 

Save The Waves is committed to protecting these unique coastal zones that create breaking waves, provide crucial habitats for wildlife, and offer sanctuary for the local communities that depend on its preservation.

We are committed to protecting 1,000 surf ecosystems by 2030. For all of us.

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To get to this ambitious goal, we are building coalitions around three principle strategies that we call Protect, Steward, Defend. We work in close collaboration with local communities from around the world, partnering with diverse individuals and organizations, to ensure real impact from the ground up. 

Click on each strategy to learn more.


Protecting a ‘wave’ means protecting endless swells, long sessions and countless rides.

Preserving just one wave, in turn, protects thousands of moments – occurring over and over again.


We focus on places around the world where iconic surfing waves overlap with biodiversity hotspots that are critically important for marine conservation. For us, surfing is a vehicle for larger coastal conservation efforts, i.e. ‘surf conservation’. 

Powered By The Coalition.

The goal is bigger than us and we don’t plan on achieving it alone. We are built on the value of collaboration – it’s in the name! We are thankful to our Coalition – from our on-the-ground partners to global foundations – who work with us to protect the places we love.



Protecting waves is about so much more than surfing. There’s an entire surf ecosystem. And it’s about more than surfers.

From a conservation priority perspective, we are focused on places around the world where iconic surfing waves overlap with biodiversity hotspots and habitats that are critically important for marine conservation.

Read more here.


The United Nations (U.N.) has set a target for global ocean protection at 10 percent of the coastal and marine areas by 2020 under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). The U.N. Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 14) reaffirms this commitment. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has upped that target, calling for the protection of at least 30% of the ocean by 2030. STW’s goal of protecting 1,000 surf ecosystems is a marine protected area strategy in line with the global trajectory for increasing the protection and effective management of our oceans.

How do you decide whether a wave is protected?

We have a saying: a wave is never protected, but is always in need of protection. 

It’s why a majority of our efforts are focused on creating Protected Areas – World Surfing Reserves and Surf Protected Area Networks. These programs require stewardship and ongoing engagement from community, regional and national agencies. 

Where do you Work?

We work in a large variety of places, including Chile, Mexico, Australia, Peru, Indonesia, The Maldives, Fiji, Costa Rica and more. Save The Waves works in areas most in need of protection – prioritizing by both proactive conservation efforts and reactive campaigns to specific threats. Analyzing the number of potential surfing waves, biodiversity hotspots, ecosystem types, existing marine conservation laws and capacity on the ground, we base our work  in ten regions. Read more about our priority regions here.

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