Brazil’s Guarda do Embaú Approved as Next World Surfing Reserve

Guarda do Embaú, South Brazil will become the 9th World Surfing Reserve (WSR) and will join the prestigious network of other WSR’s including Malibu, California; Ericeira, Portugal; Manly Beach, Australia; Santa Cruz, California; Huanchaco, Peru; Bahia Todos Santos, Baja California, Mexico; Punta de Lobos, Chile; and the Gold Coast, Australia.

This year we received an extraordinarily high quality application from Guarda do Embaú, Brazil”, said Save The Waves Coalition’s Executive Director, Nik Strong- Cvetich. “It was clear that this was a community with a deep commitment to their surfing legacy, a strong connection to their environment, and the capacity to utilize the WSR designation for the long term protection of their coastal resources.”

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 reserve will help address water quality issues and potential coastal developments.

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 principle 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.”  

About World Surfing Reserves

World Surfing Reserves (WSR) proactively identifies, designates, and preserves outstanding waves, surf zones and their surrounding environments, around the world. WSR is an initiative launched by Save The Waves Coalition in 2009 in conjunction with National Surfing Reserves Australia and other partners.

For more information:




Nick Mucha, Director of Programs

nick.mucha@savethewaves.org + (831) 345-4837

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