Okay, it's hardly a shocker. Our legendary 9-time champ's used his huge influence -- and wallet -- to help in a variety of fights, whether raising dough to save Trestles or writing letters to preserve access on Hatteras. This time, he's joined forces with World Surfing Reserves, which aims to protect the planet's most revered surf zones by granting them a holy status of say Jerusalem. (Or at least, Graceland.) But whatever it is, we back it. And we back Kelly -- surfing's fitter, soberer answer to Elvis -- for throwing his weight around on surfing's behalf.
Get the full Press Release below. And stay tuned for updates on Surf-First's data crunching efforts to protect every US break. Because not all of us can make the drive to Graceland.
Kelly Slater Joins World Surfing Reserves Movement
First trio of World Surfing Reserves to be in Australia, California, and Hawaii
13 March 2010
Bondi Beach, Australia - Nine-times World Surfing Champion Kelly Slater joined National Surfing Reserves founder Brad Farmer to announce his endorsement for the World Surfing Reserves program, and that 2010 will be the year of global surf spot enshrinements. In announcing this historic year for surf-spot preservation, Slater stated, "This is a pretty exciting thing for me to be a part of and support. It's almost mind-numbing that [WSR] hasn't happened yet, especially in Hawaii, the birthplace of surfing."
World Surfing Reserves seeks to identify and enshrine the most important and cherished surf areas around the world, in partnership with local surf communities. World Surfing Reserve (WSR) sites are nominated and selected based on four major criteria: quality and consistency of waves, importance to surf culture and history, environmental characteristics, and community support.
The naming of the specific WSR sites is anticipated soon, according to Dean LaTourrette, Executive Director of the California-based Save The Waves Coalition, which launched the World Surfing Reserves program in 2009, in conjunction with National Surfing Reserves Australia.
Several surf areas in Australia, California, and Hawaii have been proposed for enshrinement as initial WSRs. These were selected from over 125 iconic beaches nominated from 34 countries. The nominations include sites like North Narrabeen and Manly Beach in Australia, Malibu and Santa Cruz in California, and Waikiki and Oahu's North Shore in Hawaii, in addition to many others around the world.
Beyond its cultural and aesthetic significance, each WSR is a meeting of land and sea selected for the unique and salutary nature of its waves and natural setting. The dedication of each WSR seeks the protection of this coastal zone of waves and habitat from wanton destruction and exploitation - through no other mechanism but the positive force of appreciation and valuation.
On hand at the Bondi announcement was Brad Farmer, founder of Australia's National Surfing Reserves (NSR) program, which enshrines exceptional and culturally significant waves and beaches in Australia. The NSR program has been an inspiration and model for the global WSR effort.
"Today," Farmer announced, "I join Kelly in announcing that spots in Hawaii, California, and Australia are finalists to become World Surfing Reserves." He added that, "In Australia, the three finalists are Margaret River (WA), the Gold Coast (QLD), and a Sydney (NSW) beach."
Farmer said that Australia's Prime Minister will announce the final decision in June and that, "we expect that beach to be dedicated as a WSR in October 2010."
Today at Bondi, Farmer and Slater also announced the launch of a new NSR website (www.surfingreserves.org), which offers access to this exciting new vision of respect and valuation to beach-lovers all over the world. This new site, combined with Save The Waves' WSR site (www.worldsurfingreserves.org) provides further details on the global surfing reserves movement.
For more information: www.worldsurfingreserves.org www.surfingreserves.org