World Surfing Reserves

Protecting outstanding surf breaks around the world.

World Surfing Reserves serves as a model standard for preserving wave breaks and their surrounding areas by recognizing and protecting key environmental, cultural and economic attributes in coastal communities.

Created in partnership with local communities.

We work collaboratively with local coalition partners at each site guiding them through a conservation planning process that results in the creation of a Local Stewardship Council (LSC) and a Reserve Stewardship Plan. The LSC is responsible for the ongoing management of the Reserve once established.

Recent news on World surfing reserves

Current World Surfing Reserves

We have designated 10 WSR sites to date operating under LSC management in: California, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Peru, Chile, Brazil, Portugal and Australia.

Nominated Sites

The Vision Council recently approved these WSR sites but they have yet to be officially dedicated. Save The Waves is working with the future Local Stewardship Council to create a Stewardship Plan and organize a dedication ceremony.


How Does a Surf Break Become a Reserve?

Each year, the submission window opens to allow for the acceptance of one new World Surfing Reserve. The application process requires significant work from local communities and their inquiry is based on the following core criteria: 1) Quality and consistency of the wave(s); 2) Important environmental characteristics; 3) Culture and surf history; 4) Governance capacity and local support. 

To learn more, click the link below for our process and how to apply.

Protect the places you love.

Donate today and make a global impact for our coastlines. 

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