May 13, 2014 – As part of the newly approved World Surfing Reserve, Save The Waves Coalition and the local group Comité Defensa Punta de Lobos have obtained a three-month construction freeze, halting a huge development along Chile’s most famous left-hand point. This was an important step in protecting this beautiful, raw coastline from the recent onslaught of proposed residential and commercial development that would disrupt its natural state.
Save The Waves Coalitions’ Environmental and Programs Director, Nick Mucha, who has led the planning efforts with the community, stated about the news, “We are very excited about the announcement of the congelamiento– a 3 month freeze on all development within the WSR”. Nick continues, “It took a lot of strategizing and work to pull this off and we are encouraged by this initial success. The next steps are to quickly put a series of actions into place, during this temporary freeze, to help us secure the legal, long-term protection of Punta de Lobos.”
During this temporary development freeze the Comité Defensa Punta de Lobos and Save The Waves are working with local and regional government, coastal advocates, and landowners on a number of strategies to secure long-term protection. This opportunity will allow the team to collaboratively build a solution during the next three months to guarantee permanent protection of this iconic coastline. This vision will create a green space on the ocean-facing perimeters of Punta de Lobos, thereby guaranteeing sustainable use on the most environmentally sensitive, culturally rich, and scenic spaces along Punta de Lobos.
Accomplished Chilean big-wave surfer and Save The Waves ambassador, Ramón Navarro, an integral part of the Comité Defensa Punta de Lobos describes the initial victory, “I am super excited about what we’ve been able to achieve so far. Our dream is keep Lobos as it is, for the future and for the next generation. We have the opportunity and responsibility to do this now.”
Save The Waves and the World Surfing Reserve (WSR) program have begun laying out a long term vision and conservation plan with the local committee, “Comité Defensa Punta de Lobos” to keep this remarkable coastal treasure undeveloped and open to all. The three main objectives outlined are to 1) Protect the coastline and waves of Punta de Lobos; 2) Maintain free access to the beach and waves; and 3) Protect the cultural heritage of the area and the community.
“Lobos is such as amazing place and these are major steps toward its protection. We could not do it without the strong local team in place” said Nik Strong-Cvetich, Save The Waves Executive Director.
Acknowledging this important work, Save The Waves will honor Ramón Navarro for his years of coastal advocacy and leadership in launching the World Surfing Reserve at Punta de Lobos a part of their annual benefit ‘Life Is A Wave’ on Saturday, May 30th at 111 Minna Gallery in San Francisco. For more information and purchase advance tickets here.
About World Surfing Reserves
World Surfing Reserves (WSR) proactively identifies, designates, and preserves outstanding waves, surf zones and their surrounding environments, around the world.