Save the Waves – the California-based non-profit at the forefront of preserving the world’s best and most important surf breaks – announced Wednesday that the Punta Borinquen area of Puerto Rico will become the 11th World Surfing Reserve. It’s the first area of coast in the Caribbean to achieve WSR distinction.
According to a press release, the Punta Borinquen World Surfing Reserve will encompass eight kilometers of coastline between the waves of Crash Boat and Surfers/Survival Beach.
The proposal to create a WSR at Punta Borinquen was spearheaded by Olita, a Puerto Rico-based non-profit working to help families break the cycle of poverty. Olita created a team of experts that later formed a Local Stewardship Council (LSC) comprised of professors, students, local entities, NGOs and veterans of the surf and outdoor industries.
That the LSC was able to coordinate a conservation strategy with so many stakeholders, especially in the wake of Hurricane Maria that devastated the island nation in the fall of 2017, was especially impressive.
“Every year we receive outstanding proposals that make our decision very hard,” said Nik Strong Cvetich, Save the Waves Executive Director. “Given the high capacity, expertise, and commitment that the Local Stewardship Council of Punto Borinquen presented in their application and given their incredible support in spite of Hurricane Maria, they still managed to unite. This year’s decision in favor of Punta Borinquen was almost unanimous.”
The Puerto Rican House of Representatives recently celebrated and endorsed the Punto Borinquen World Surfing Reserve and a formal dedication is planned for later this year.
Longtime Puerto Rican standout and Patagonia ambassador Otto Flores will also become the Punta Borinquen WSR ambassador.