Community and conservation efforts rally around surf protected area
Guarda do Embaú, Brazil (October 28, 2019) – On Saturday, October 26th, Brazil’s Guarda do Embaú was officially dedicated as the 9th World Surfing Reserve, with over 200 people in attendance for the three day ceremony. The celebration was the culmination of more than three years of intensive work building the Local Stewardship Council, completing a Stewardship Plan and finalizing an economic study of the area.
Formed by the Rio da Madre, the Guarda do Embaú surf ecosystem is one of the most classic Brazilian surfing locations, as well as one of the most biodiverse areas in the Atlantic Coast Rainforest of Brazil.
“All of the Brazilian surf world knows about this place and it has some of the best waves in the entire country,” said former Surfing World Champion Adriano de Souza. “I am proud to be involved in the protection of Guarda.”
Together with Save The Waves staff, the Local Stewardship Council drafted the Stewardship Plan for the Reserve to define and implement important projects to improve the water quality of the Rio da Madre. This resulted in a new water quality monitoring program, municipal approval and funding for construction of a wastewater treatment plant.
“Guarda do Embaú is one of the most unique places I have ever been. What the community has done for conservation of the area as part of the World Surfing Reserve is nothing less than incredible,” said Save The Waves Executive Director, Nik Strong-Cvetich. “They have set the bar so high for what can be achieved through the World Surfing Reserves program, and are a model for the rest of the WSR network.”
The Guarda do Embaú World Surf Reserve unites the legally protected areas of the Serra do Tabuleiro State Park and an Environmental Protection Area for the Southern Right Whale, as part of a special multiple-use zonation. The efforts and accomplishments of the WSR have also inspired the creation of and highlighted the need for a network of protected surfing areas throughout the coastline of Brazil.
“We are so proud of all of the work that we have done with the Local Stewardship Council and Save The Waves, and today everyone in Guarda do Embaú knows about this huge honor and acknowledgement,” said Marcos ‘Kito’ Gungel, President of the Local Stewardship Council and Reserve Manager. “I couldn’t be happier.”
In attendance were former Surfing World Champion Adriano de Souza, Portuguese Big Wave Surfer and WSR Co-Founder, João De Macedo, Palhoça Mayor Camilo Martins, Brazilian Movie Star and Environmentalist Mateus Solano, Pro Surfer Taína Hinckel, Big Wave Surfer and Brazilian TV Host Ricardo Bocão and Save The Waves Executive Director Nik Strong-Cvetich and STW Conservation Programs Manager Trent Hodges.
For more information on the Guarda do Embaú World Surfing Reserve, please visit here.
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Photos Courtesy of Plínio Bordin