Jacó, Costa Rica: In Costa Rica competing for gold at the Billabong ISA World Surfing Games, surf federations from all over the world submitted their nominations to Save The Waves Coalition to be considered for the World Surfing Reserves (WSR) program – designed to proactively protect the greatest and most threatened surf breaks around the world. To kick off the games today PRETOMA, a Costa Rican environmental organization, also presented the science and threats behind a proposed offshore tuna farm that would pollute the coastal waters adjacent to Pavones, a world class Costa Rican surf spot and WSR nominee. José Ureña, president of the Costa Rican surf federation, has officially nominated Pavones as the country’s World Surfing Reserves candidate wave.

National surf federations and their competitive teams from all over the world are in Costa Rica for the World Surfing Games. Today in Jacó the federations also submitted their surf spot nominations to be considered as World Surfing Reserves, with the first reserves declared in 2009 and 2010. This event marks the completion of the first phase of the World Surfing Reserves program.

PRETOMA was present at the event to promote its new partnership with Save The Waves to rally members of the international surfing community in opposing a series of proposed tuna farms in Costa Rica’s southern zone, close to Pavones and other world-class point breaks. The tuna farms will seriously pollute the pristine waters of the region, which also hosts some of the highest concentrations of biodiversity and wildlife on the planet. PRETOMA and other environmental organizations have succeeded at bringing their concerns to the forefront of the debate in Costa Rica’s national congress and await a favorable ruling in the courts to block the project and protect Costa Rica’s priceless coastal resources. The executive director of Save The Waves, Dean LaTourrette, announced, “Save The Waves is thankful to be working with a strong local partner on the Pavones issue. PRETOMA is leading the charge in winning this battle at the local level. Andy Bystrom of PRETOMA announced a call to action in which anyone can participate by writing letters and signing the online petition available at www.pretoma.org.

Save The Waves also presented its recently unveiled World Surfing Reserves/Google Earth 3D virtual tour of the nominated surf spots, in which internet users can download an application and tour detailed aerial maps and satellite photos of the nominated surf spots and their surrounding environments. The virtual tour is now available at www.savethewaves.org

The World Surfing Reserves program was launched on Dec. 5, 2008, along with a strategic partnership with the International Surfing Association (ISA). That partnership was established to introduce the WSR program and engage local surf representatives and communities around the world.

About the World Surfing Reserves

The World Surfing Reserves Program aims to proactively designate and help preserve outstanding waves, surf zones and their surrounding environments around the world. The program will serve as a model for preserving wave breaks and their surrounding areas throughout the world by recognizing the positive environmental, social, cultural and economic benefits of waves.

More information

International Surfing Association www.isasurf.org

Save The Waves Coalition, www.savethewaves.org

PRETOMA www.pretoma.org