Conservation Opportunities Arise From the Co-Occurrence of Surfing and Key Biodiversity Areas

Dan R. Reineman, Kellee Koenig, Nik Strong-Cvetich, John N. Kittinger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Conserving biodiversity and ecosystem services requires diverse models that empower communities to steward and benefit from resources. Here we investigate the potential of surfing resources, a new conservation asset class, and the surfing community, an underutilized conservation constituency, to conserve marine biodiversity. We conducted a spatial analysis of the overlap among Key Biodiversity Areas, Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), and 3,755 surf breaks globally. We find that 62.77% of surf breaks are not within MPAs and that 25.81% of all surf breaks are within 5 km of a Key Biodiversity Area, but are not within a MPA, suggesting that strategic conservation opportunities arise from the co-occurrence of surfing resources and biodiversity priorities. Establishing or extending protections to surfing ecosystems could increase protection for biodiversity at one-quarter of surf breaks. Sustainable management of these resources ensures their ability to provide for the character, economy, and development of coastal communities worldwide.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number663460
JournalFrontiers in Marine Science
StatePublished - Mar 29 2021


  • biodiversity
  • conservation
  • marine protected areas
  • resource management
  • surf breaks
  • surfing resources

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Aquatic Science
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Ocean Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Conservation Opportunities Arise From the Co-Occurrence of Surfing and Key Biodiversity Areas'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this