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App Newsletter #3: How Your Surf Sessions Can Contribute to Surf Ecosystem Protection

Welcome to the final App blog of the 2023 calendar year! I’m stoked that you’re here and I hope that you’re ready for the latest updates about the Save The Waves App. 

First and foremost, I wanted to remind you about the chance to win an Apple Watch series 9 (the newest one) and a free subscription to Dawn Patrol by reporting on the STW App and including “#DawnPatrol” in the App report description. Check out this cool clip made by Dawn Patrol and feel free to share it on social media – we also have all of the information about the giveaway in this instagram post, including English, Spanish and Portuguese for easy sharing across our coalition (swipe on the post to see all the information). The giveaway is live now and will end November 14th, 2023. 

Dawn Patrol has been an incredibly supportive partner, from embedding the STW App into their surf-tracking App to supporting the North Devon WSR dedication and this awesome giveaway, they’ve been contributing to surf ecosystem conservation for the last few years. To continue growing our partnership, we are working together to leverage their unique and anonymous GPS data to determine wave quality and other important baselines associated with surf conditions, which allows us to better understand the dynamics of surf ecosystems in order to better protect them. They’re stoked on protecting surf ecosystems and we’re stoked on their support, so go check them out if you haven’t yet. And while you’re at it, report on the App and you might just land yourself a new Apple watch with built-in surf tracking! 

Now let’s move on to some programmatic updates. The last few months have been filled with activities that have furthered both our on-the-ground and global partnerships, as well as planting seeds for future collaborations across organizations and regions. I was very fortunate to visit our partners at the Punta de Lobos World Surfing Reserve (WSR) and the rest of our Surf Protected Area Network (SPANs) partners in Chile alongside our Conservation Programs Manager, Mara Arroyo. We had a trip packed with community engagement for SPANs work, several community-level App workshops and a newly minted data-sharing partnership with Parque Punta de Lobos. Not only did we set up one more real-time alert system through the App for this WSR but we were able to engage park rangers and park staff to discuss the value of App data and leveraging it as a digital archive for issues in their protected area. Additionally, we visited the Piedra del Viento Sanctuary, Chile’s first surfing protected area, managed by our partners at Fundacion Rompientes, where we also held a successful and engaging App workshop with the park rangers and local surfing community. You can learn more about this trip and check out some photos in this short piece by Mara (scroll down for the English version).

After sampling Punta de Lobos’ world-class lefts and meeting government officials from Chile’s Ministry of Environment, Mara and I (joined by our CEO, Nik) made our way across the Atlantic to the Global Wave Conference (GWC) in Portugal. A bi-annual gathering of surf conservationists from all around the world, the GWC is a unique experience to catch up with colleagues and learn about the latest science, policy and advocacy efforts to protect surf ecosystems. I had the opportunity to speak at a roundtable about the overwhelming issue of ocean plastics, with the App as a tool to engage surfers and coastal users with this issue, and connect them to the critical on-the-ground and policy efforts of our partners. This speaking platform was essential to effectively communicate the power of the STW App with many potential partners and users from all over the world, ultimately kick-starting conversations about new strategic and impactful collaborations with inspiring organizations and individuals.

So, our global coalition continues to grow in breadth and depth. We continue to tackle outreach from multiple angles and aim to not only gather data about these issues but also find solutions, educate the public and, ultimately, engage people to care for the places that they love. We couldn’t do this without the support of each one of you, from our partners on the ground to the App users who see an issue and immediately report it on the App. Thank you for being a part of the ride, and I’ll be writing to you next year with some very exciting news on all things App and Stewardship. 

Cheers to you and yours, and enjoy the Holiday season!

Diego

 

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