Save The Waves Launches New Surfonomics Study

Save The Waves Launches Surfonomics Study on Mavericks with Stanford and University of Hawaii

Save The Waves Coalition has launched a new “Surfonomics” study: an economic impact and valuation study of the world-famous Mavericks surfing wave and the annual Mavericks Surf Contest to the regional economy in and around Half Moon Bay, CA. Stanford University’s Center for Ecotourism and Sustainable Development (CESD) and the University of Hawai’i’ at Manoa’s Department of Urban and Regional Planning will be executing the study under Save The Waves’ guidance, which will combine economic impact valuations but also valuations based on intrinsic or cultural values of a coastal location with a world-class wave such as Mavericks.

“Mavericks is an iconic break, and people need to understand the significant economic value it has to local communities, in addition to its environmental and social value.” PHOTO COURTESY SAVE THE WAVES COALITION.

The University of Hawai’i is currently completing work on developing the methodology, best practices, and survey instruments, which will include online and onsite surveying. CESD at Stanford University in partnership with Save The Waves will be responsible for executing onsite surveying both during the contest and potentially during other time periods. The project was made possible from a grant provided by the Morgan Family Foundation, located in Los Altos, California.

“This study is an exciting and important part of Save The Waves’ “Surfonomics” program, which is designed to educate the public on the value of natural and pristine surfing coastline around the world,” said Save The Waves Executive Director Dean LaTourrette. “Mavericks is an iconic break, and people need to understand the significant economic value it has to local communities, in addition to its environmental and social value. We’re thrilled to be working with Stanford and the University of Hawaii to develop a valuation model that hopefully can be replicated at other coastal regions around the world.” The study and others like it will also help support a larger initiative launched by Save The Waves in 2008, the World Surfing Reserves program – which aims to proactively designate and protect the word’s greatest waves and their surrounding environments.

Keir Beadling, CEO of Mavericks Surf Ventures, Inc. organizers of the Mavericks Surf Contest® added: “We’ve always known Mavericks is a unique, extremely valuable and environmentally sensitive location. This study helps local policy-makers and the local community to appreciate and scientifically evaluate the value of this world wave the San Francisco Bay Area has in its backyard! I thank the Save The Waves Coalition for spearheading this effort and continuing to work closely with us around the contest and year-round.”

“I am excited that Center for Ecotourism and Sustainable Development (CESD) will help launch the Mavericks Wave Valuation Study,” stated Len Materman, program advisor at Stanford’s CESD. “Save The Waves has done a great job leading and supporting this project. The geographical proximity of Mavericks to Stanford will help faculty and students test the survey instrument necessary to create a wave valuation model, which can then be used to inform development and conservation decisions in coastal areas around the world with various challenges and opportunities.”

The study and surveying will be conducted during the 2008/2009 wave season at Mavericks, including at the 2009 Mavericks Surf Contest. The study is expected to be complete by Fall 2009, with results released in time for the 2009/2010 season and contest.

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