Global Wave Conference

We are super excited about the newly announced Global Wave Conference, taking place in Cornwall & London this October. Packed full of key stakeholders of surfing sustainability, this event sets out to cover a variety of sustainability themes with a focus on the protection of irreplaceable surf spots worldwide. Read the full info below:

The Global Wave Conference (GWC) is an international event bringing together the world’s leading enviro-surf NGOs, academics, oceanographers, environmentalists, grassroots activists, surfers, politicians, the surf industry and coastal communities. The key focus of the conference is the protection of unique and irreplaceable surf spots worldwide. However, the event increasingly covers a broader range of marine conservation, health and sustainability themes connected to natural surfing heritage and the surf industry.

The overarching aim of the event is to highlight the threats to global sites of special surfing interest, facilitate global environmental and sustainability collaborations and initiatives, and increase leadership from the surfing community on the protection of waves, oceans, beaches and coastal ecosystems.

As one of the world’s leading enviro-surf NGOs, with a 25 year track record of delivering marine conservation campaigns, Surfers Against Sewage will be leading the fourth instalment of the Global Wave Conference in the UK in October 2015.

“Our mission is simple – to create the most ambitious and impactful conference to date – one of the biggest surf, sustainability and environmental conferences in the world.”

Surfers Against Sewage will deliver an expanded conference agenda covering marine conservation, surf spot preservation, human health and wellbeing and sustainable surf industry leadership and reach out to the wider charity and business sector to learn from successful global campaigns examples. We aim to raise the level of collaboration between global enviro-surf NGOs and increase the awareness and impact of our sector’s environmental campaigns, particularly on the threats from climate change, marine litter and coastal urbanisation and development.

The first Global Wave Conference was a two-day event held on the 25th and 26th February 2010 at the University of La Laguna, Tenerife. It was the brainchild of Dr Angel Lobo who lectures in Administrative Law at the university, but who is also the President of the Canary Islands Surfing Federation. The event was co-organised by Angel and Surfers Against Sewage Trustee Tony Butt.

The objectives of the event were to understand the following concepts:


  • The mechanisms behind the generation, propagation and breaking of waves;
  • The natural environment within which waves exist;
  • Legal methods that can be used to protect the waves;
  • The impact of coastal ocean waves on the local economy;
  • The importance of waves for energy and tourism;
  • Ways of intervening in the coastal environment without destroying the waves.

The conference was divided into three sessions; Waves as a Natural Resource; Waves as an Economic, Sports and Social Resource and Sustainable Coastal Intervention. Speakers were invited from Spain, UK, France and the United States. They included experts in coastal biology, European law, Coastal Engineering and Oceanography, with representatives from SAS, Save The Waves and the Surfrider Foundation. Even though relatively limited, the first Global Wave Conference firmly planted the seeds for what is now a major international event held every two years.

After participation at subsequent GWC events in France in 2011 and Mexico in 2013, Surfers Against Sewage will be leading the fourth installment of the GWC in October of this year. The conference will be coming to the UK for the first time ever. This year will also see Greg Long, Ramon Navarro, Alex Gray and three time World Champion Tom Curren joining for very special appearances.

The conference will be from Sunday the 11th October to Wednesday the 14th October and will be split between two venues. The first three days and the bulk of the event will be at the Bedruthan Hotel and Spa while the final day (Wednesday) will be in the Churchill Dining Room of the House of Commons, London.


Gordon Fontaine
Gordon Fontaine

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