Former CEO, Surfrider Foundation
jim moriarty, surfrider foundation, trestles, save trestles, state parks

If we can’t save Trestles, is any endangered wave safe? Photo courtesy of Surfrider Foundation

The Inertia

It was Mark Massara who first encapsulated the point of this post. A number of us had gathered to talk about wave protection on the global scale. Running in the background was the increasingly high-profile fight to save perhaps the best wave in the United States, Trestles.

My memory of what he said goes something like this…

What country on the planet has the most stringent environmental laws?

Arguably, the United States.


What state, within that country, has the highest environmental standards and laws?


What is the highest protection an area can attain within a state in terms of environmental protection?

A state park.

Where is Trestles?


It’s inside a state park, in California and within the United States.

If we can’t save Trestles how can we possibly save other waves?

This point was underscored a few weeks ago when I was touring the northern Baja area with Serge Dedina from WiLDCOAST. He pointed out Harry’s. All I saw was a lost wave, massive amounts of concrete and an LNG terminal which was abandoned before it was completed.

A great wave was lost and absolutely nothing was gained.

Without a strong, engaged community and as much protection as we can connect to the waves we love, those waves are at risk. If that sounds like crying wolf, I suggest you drive to Dana Point and see what is in place of Killer Dana, then continue on just south of the border and check out Harry’s.

A more comprehensive post on this subject can be found here.

After the vote last night (one more victory to preserve Trestles), a few reporters asked me the same question: “Is this it? Or will the TCA be back?” and I shared with them one of the trueisms I’ve learned at Surfrider.

We expect, with near 100% certainty, that this is not the end. We expect that we will always be fighting to protect what we love. Whether it’s fighting to protect Ruggles in Rhode Island or beach access to Martin’s Beach in San Francisco, we expect others to seek to take away what we love. This is why Surfrider exists–to protect and to surf.



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