Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Stanley's and other lost surf breaks

'Stanley's' was a surf break along the northern Ventura County coast. Lost to Hwy 101 in 1970, Stanley's has become a local symbol of coastal destruction from freeways and harbors.

Around the world, surf breaks are threatened by development and pollution. The video below is one of many in Patagonia's new online surf catalog, which focuses on the theme "Protect Your Break." This 'e-catalog' is part of Patagonia's ongoing quest to minimize their footprint while producing functional products and delivering an inspiring message.

(Link to this video on YouTube )

The loss of Stanley's inspired local surfers to form the Stanley's Reef Foundation when the adjacent 'Oil Piers' surf spot was lost in the 1990's. Oil piers is slated as the site for an experimental 'artificial reef,' which seems to be back on track for construction sometime in the near future. Whether or not installation of plastic sand bags can re-create the natural wonder of Stanley's remains to be seen... (artificial reef case studies here)

But we should all learn from these losses, and be prepared to stand up and fight for the protection and restoration of the natural surf breaks around the world. Which is exactly why the Surfrider Foundation has worked for almost 20 years for 'managed retreat' at Surfers Point in Ventura, a project that will break ground right after labor day 2010.