On February 6, 2007, 400 people lead by Asturia’s Surf and Bodyboard Federation gathered at the Villaviciosa’s river mouth to show their opposition to the dredging project. This project will destroy one of the three best waves in Europe.
Backed by multiple environmental organizations and by the residents of San Martín, the demonstrators raised their voices and signs in support for the protection of the famous surfing wave, Rodiles, a symbolic spot for surf lovers all over the world.
Hundreds of signs asked for the protection of the wave, the coast, the wetlands, the river, and the natural state of the beach. A human chain was also formed across the river, with demonstrators, yelling “DRAGA NO” (don’t dredge), demonstrating their will to stop the project at all costs. Carlos Garcia, president of the Spanish Surf Federation explained that, “Governmental institutions need to understand that urban development is not worth more than the environment.” Garcia also assured the public officials that, “we have the support of thousands of surfers and ocean lovers from all over the world who will come to our aide if the project is approved.” He also added that “if the project goes forth, Spain will lose a symbolic surf spot, which would be equivalent of losing Spain’s best soccer stadium, but above that it would forever eliminate a priceless natural wonder.”
Surfers and supporters are ready to act to save Rodiles and the campaign continues. Hugo Suárez, technical director and surf trainer, assured the press that, “You won’t find us standing still, not doing anything about it, and we are ready to do whatever it takes to save Rodiles.” The Save Rodiles coalition is continuing to campaign politically and publicly.