Board Member & STW Founder
Will Henry founded Save The Waves Coalition in 2001, in an effort to protect threatened waves on the island of Madeira. A regular visitor to Madeira since 1995, he was drawn to the island’s unique big wave spots and stunning natural scenery. In early 2001, on his annual visit to the island, he witnessed firsthand the wave at Lugar de Baixo being dismantled by heavy equipment, in preparation for a harbor project slated to bury the wave. Will feared that one of Madeira’s most iconic surf spots would be lost forever unless something was done.
Will grew up in Southern California and learned to surf in at Dana Strand in the 70’s, a beach break that is strikingly close to the surf spot once known as Killer Dana. This iconic wave was destroyed by the development of Dana Point Harbor in 1966, coincidentally the year of his birth.
Will decided to do something about what was happening in Madeira. Using his background as a photographer and journalist, he mounted a grass-roots campaign to argue for the relocation the harbor at Lugar de Baixo. The campaign was successful, and Save The Waves was born. Shortly afterward Will produced the documentary film Lost Jewel of the Atlantic, which outlined the new organization’s battles in Madeira, as well as its newly-acquired mission to protect surf spots globally. Will continued to serve as Executive Director from 2001 until 2007.
Currently Will lives in the Monterey area and is the owner of Lumen (www.lumenwines.com), a producer of wines from the Santa Maria Valley on California’s Central Coast. He still surfs whenever his winemaking schedule permits.