On June 2, 2010, Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle issued Executive Order 10-07 establishing two Hawaii Surfing Reserves on the island of Oahu. The order establishes the Duke Kahanamoku Surfing Reserve (surf breaks from the Ala Wai canal to Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium) and the North Shore Reserve (waves from Ali‘i Beach Park to Sunset Beach) on O‘ahu.

The Governor’s action “acknowledges the cultural, sports and historic significance of important surf sites in Hawaii,” and “raises public awareness about the importance of protecting, nourishing and developing Hawaii’s world famous surf sites.”

SEA, working through the West Coast/North Outpost, advocated for the creation of these reserves as an important coastal and surf-break protection opportunity. The bill establishing said reserves was originally introduced in the Hawaiian Legislature by State Senator Fred Hemming, former World Champion Surfer. SEA followed the bill’s process through both houses of the Legislature and we (along with many, many surfers, surfing groups, environmental protection groups, and representatives of the surf industry were shocked at the apparent death of the bill on the Legislature’s final day—the apparent victim of local politics.) It was finally left up to Governor Lingle to do the right thing and establish said two reserves by Executive Order.

SEA wrote a letter of thanks to Governor Lingle for her critical support in this important environmental matter.

SEA is pleased to have been part of the widespread advocacy for Hawaii Surfing Reserves, and we hope it stands as an example for other states and countries to take similar action to honor the rare surfing resources along their coasts.

Jim Littlefield

West Coast/North Director

Surfers’ Environmental Alliance (SEA)